Bus drivers and passengers are sweltering on buses with broken air conditioning. *Photo by www.moongateproductions.com
Bus drivers and passengers are sweltering on buses with broken air conditioning. *Photo by www.moongateproductions.com
FRIDAY, JULY 20: Bus drivers and passengers are sweltering on buses with broken air conditioning.

A total of 18 of the fleet of 112 buses have defective climate control leading to safety fears as drivers wilt in the heat.

One driver, who asked not to be named, said they are working in ‘hazardous conditions’.

He told us that bus operators can finish the day saturated in sweat and feeling nauseous.

And he warned that if a driver was overcome by the heat, he or she could lose control of a bus, putting passengers and other road users at risk.

A colleague added: “It’s definitely a problem for drivers — all this glass holds a lot of heat. I don’t know if the union is involved.

Another added: “It’s been very hot the last few days and a bus with no air conditioning isn’t pleasant for drivers or the passengers.”

They were speaking as the mercury hit 86 degrees in Bermuda yesterday — the hottest day of the year — and with temperatures set to hit 87 degrees today.

A spokesman for the Department of Public Transportation said that there had been a slightly higher number of buses with air-conditioning units in need of repair for this time of year.

Problems

He added: “Currently there are 18 buses of the 112 in the fleet that are experiencing some air-conditioning problems while the average for this time of year is in the low teens.”

One passenger, a 27-year-old woman who lives in a central parish and often rides the bus to Dockyard, said: “It gets really hot when the bus is crowded – especially with all the tourists riding the buses now.

“And even with all the windows open, sometimes there isn’t enough breeze to keep cool.

“Seriously, there’s nothing worse than being jammed up next to a fellow passenger who’s dripping sunscreen and sweat during a long bus ride.”

Both the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Bermuda Road Safety Council declined to comment.