I decided to start this section with a hope that all those who love Bermuda and its people can come out with suggestions to make the island even more beautiful for both islanders and visitors.
With the rising population, vehicles and two wheelers on the road and tourists swamping the island during the long summer season, I felt it is important that we should not only prevent the island from the harsh beating it continues to take, but also come out with thoughts and ways that can make it a better place to live and visit.
I am hereby inviting visitors and islanders to share their observations on any growing concerns that they have noted and what may be the possible solutions. I shall also make my own contributions. I am hoping that the concerned department of Bermuda Government and other active bodies will take a note and take them forward.
Sometime back I twitted my thoughts about making bus/ferry passes available online to visitors and even islanders. As I have observed over the years, this has been a growing concern with tourists, and particularly with the cruise passengers. Today there is no way tourists can get the passes or tickets in advance and before they arrive in Bermuda, unless they know of somebody in the island who may buy on their behalf and mail it back to their residence... this is ruled out for vast majority.
But look at the queue at the Dockyard Visitors Information Centers, the mad rush to get passes as soon as a cruise ship docks at Kings Wharf or Heritage Wharf, and frustration amongst the tourists having to waste precious time just waiting. Why do they need to wait that long to get a pass?
Do you think when a cruise ship arrives at 9am, a passenger can actually catch the first orange route ferry to St George that leaves dockyard at 9:30am? The next ferry is at 11:30am which may be too late to plan out a good day's itinerary. Many ships dock in Bermuda only for a night and give no second chance for an itinerary to work.
I know that these days cash is accepted in the ferry. But how many tourists would have $4.5 change on arrival? And sometimes I understand that the ferry runs out of cash to return the change.
So I think the real solution is to make the bus/ferry pass and tickets online through a website. I know there are some issues, but there are solutions as well ...
1) A normal pass gets activated on first use and remains active for its validity period. But an online pass won't have a magnetic strip for activation. So one can buy an online pass for fixed days (date range printed) for which it would work. There may be a fee if one changes plans or cancels. It should be acceptable to most.
2) How to stop airline passengers from using online passes to board buses at the airport? Print in bold "Not Valid For Airport Transfers" on the online form and also on all online passes/tickets, and train the bus drivers not to permit airport passengers with such passes. They are smart enough to handle the situation and ensure no wrong usage of the passes.
I think this will not only bring down the frustration of the tourists, this will also enable the Visitors Information Centers to better focus on guiding the tourists and Post Offices to efficiently handle mailing systems rather than getting busy in issuing passes and tickets.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com, May 2013)
The beaches are enchanting, the food is mediocre and expensive, the people are friendly and delightful...but what no one tells you is that unless you want to cab everywhere, everyday ....understand that you can become housebound, tormented and intimidated even for the briefest distance you might need to walk... by the noisy squeal of traffic driving at unsafe speeds in a constant whrrr around the island.
Take the bus sure.. if you are willing to stand on blind curved roads with no sidewalks while taxi vans, scooters and full sized busses whiz by and pin you up against the rock wall with a pink metal tube popping out of it. This is your sole indication that this precarious place standing in a 2 lane highway lined with rock walls and no shoulders or sidewalks is indeed a bus stop.
You take your life in your hands by being a walker here in Bermuda and it is so unnecessary. With just a little work and improved signage the Railway Trail could serve as a pedestrian paradise, away from the noisy traffic circle that seems to have engulfed this lovely place..
Marilyn Higgins (May, 2013)
The subject of Bermudas' unique damp, mildew, scent is familiar to all who are PRIVILEGED enough to post up on the rock. A distinct odor in the air of a Warwick home, located near the pond, wakes one up early every morning! A local sanitation company affiliate informed me of the waste removal practices on the island. Why take offense to observations made by FOREIGNERS. Build upon the input. Make Bermuda Smell Beautiful.!! The best practices for the islands' waste removal requires educated, skilled enterprises. INDIVIDUALS WHO PUT BERMUDA FIRST.
Tsymonds (July 2015)