The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way that many businesses operate, including the vendors in St. George’s market. In order to minimise health and safety risks for vendors and their customers, the Government of Grenada undertook a major project to renovate the market and make it Covid-19 compliant.
During these renovations, the vendors were relocated to the Kirani James Athletic Stadium. In order to increase patronage at the new site, a dedicated bus shuttle system was set up, specifically for transporting commuters to and from the market in a timely manner.
The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Trade combined their energies to give support to the temporary market arrangement and increase patronage. As a result, the ‘Ride a Bus Free Day’ promotion was implemented and the program started in October, 2020.
In December Rubis was approached to provide support to the National Bus Association members who ply the shuttle service along the Zone 7 Darbeau Route. Recognizing the importance of this service to market goers, Rubis pledged support for the program by allowing the two bus operators working the route on the selected days of December 11 & 12, 2020 to refuel at the Melville Street Rubis Service Station thus allowing for the service to the market patrons to be complimentary.
Jacinta Joseph, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, said on behalf of the Government they was pleased that Rubis had accepted the invitation to be one of the corporate entities providing support for the initiative. It meant that users of the bus shuttle service were able to patronize the market and not have to worry about transportation services to carry their purchases and also meant that more persons were able to shop thus increasing the vendor sales.
The shuttle drivers that weekend were Carl Clunis of bus H 2501 and Grant Aberdeen of bus H 4427. They were both complementary of the initiative and praised Rubis. Mr. Clunis said that Rubis as a fuel supplier coming forward to be supportive of this economic venture, was showing the importance it placed on use of the market. Mr. Aberdeen in commenting indicated he was happy to see that Government, business and the bus association could collaborate on this program and thanked Rubis for the funding.
Charles Archer, Rubis Country Representative, stated, “Let me express my gratitude on behalf of Rubis for the opportunity given to us to partner with the other two bodies so the farmers and vendors were able to see benefits through increased sales at their stalls and thus improving their efforts for a stable livelihood.”