Solar Transport Project Launched

On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Barbados Small Business Association (SBA) launched its Solar Transport Project in National Heroes Square, Bridgetown.

The exciting one year pilot project is a first of its kind for the country and is aimed at helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Chief Executive Officer of the SBA, Lynette Holder said the Association was taking the initiative to fill a need in the City while at the same time offering Barbadians and tourists the opportunity to learn more about the history of Barbados.

She explained that the main idea of the project was to initially have the two 10-seater vehicles operate as inner-city shuttles offering tours of Historic Bridgetown, both to locals and visitors.

The project has a number of objectives including the education of at least 100 businesses in Bridgetown on the United Nation Global Compact Programme; increasing awareness of sustainable transport and the history of Bridgetown; and reaching out to at least 500 institutions including schools, non-governmental organisations, hotels, groups and association in the City.

"The project will feature two key tours - we are offering one tour on our city sites for those who just want to see the key locations in the city of Bridgetown, and the other is a historic tour for the history buffs that really want to know more about the history of Bridgetwon. So we have exciting tours that we have put together in the short-term," explained Holder.

The SBA CEO said she hoped the project would lead to an expansion of similar modes of transport in and around Bridgetown in the long-term given the associated benefits.

"We are hopeful that in the medium to long-term the Association can encourage Barbadians to consider this type of transport for their commuting in Bridgetown. That is a strategic objective of this project; to encourage the use of these types of vehicles as shuttles in the Bridgetown area," said Holder. 

She added "It will prevent a lot of carbon emission and help encourage people to be environmentally conscious and safe. That is another objective of the project".

The launch ceremony was also attended by a number of SBA partners and other stakeholders.

GEF/SGP Subregional Associate Programme Officer of UNDP, Tamaisha Eytle, lauded the SBA for taking the lead in the promotion of solar powered public transport vehicles in Barbados.

Eytle described the initiative as a strategic one, saying "it is not only timely but it seeks to remind us of the importance of being proactive, responsive and innovative in these times".

The UN official said the Solar Transport Project was an important one both for the environment and economy of Barbados.

The project is being funded in part by the GEF Small Grants programme of the UNDP.