RealTalk.BB Presents – Marginalized
An in-depth look at the issues and people society often ignores or oppresses.
This is the first questionnaire published in a series on societal perspectives on van culture.
The purpose is to give insight into the society’s perspective on van culture and those parties who contribute to it.
The interviewees prefer to remain anonymous for personal reasons.
Interviewee: Given Anonymous Name Jepter
Occupation: Student (University Of West Indies)
Interviewer: Shakira Lowe
Please tell us your story. How did you become who you are today?
I am a 26 year old individual who was to make changes locally and regionally. I caught Ellerslie van every day. Went in the van stand every day. I belief I have an understanding of the van culture and I heard other stories of different routes. Stories of Jackson van, B142 always being “write off”; popularity of the van culture; and the drivers entertaining people. Interesting culture- interesting values, generate friends, entertains, building friends to feel towards a family, makes money for their families. Not like a traditional family but still a family
Have you seen sexual acts being committed to ZRs or buses?
Being in vans, heard never saw it. I saw the doubling up and heard the allegations.
There are anecdotal accounts of women being molested in vans and minibus. Have you ever witness/ experienced this? If so how did it make you feel?
Have you ever engaged in any sexual or otherwise private acts while using public transpiration? If so what did you do? If not; why?
No, never, I do not think it is right; it is against the laws, rules and regulations. Morally wrong.
What is your view on the playing of music in VANS?
Enjoyable sometimes, too loud not in mood for. Different age groups may get frustration, annoyance and angry. I heard a person quarrelling because of the music …. Vans with complete silences can also be frustrating. It depends on the music and the mood of the individual… there are two types of music frequently played, reggae and dancehall- gun tune. Women don’t really feel the gun tune… different personalities… keep it radio.
Do you think ZRs and Minibuses are unjustly given a bad reputation?
Yes, I acknowledge some speed and bad driving that creates a bad view in the public eyes but they go places buses don’t go. Transport Board Buses are too rigid, vans must hustle. There is good and bad but a negative view in the public… transport board has a fix salary.
What’s your favorite mode of transportation? Why?
Driving, because, waiting for an over packed van can be annoying when in hurry, plus the stoppage… limited wait time; there is only traffic to contend with and only worrying about yourself.
What is worst experience you ever had using public transportation?
3, only, I almost died in 1st or 2nd Form at Ellerslie exiting a van, I tripped over from my lace and the conductor saved me from hitting a fencing that had a lose wire.
Is there any ZR, Minibus or Transport Board bus you want to highlight/ “big up”?
Most don’t run anymore. 142 Jackson and Black Rock route.
What do you think about getting rid of ZRs? Should it be done?
No, question 7 answers this
How do school children behave on vans?
In my time, I enjoyed the van culture, it was never in a position of lives being threaten… there is nothing wrong with the behaviour, but nowadays people are fighting and fighting is not because of the van culture but the society we live in … things have changed.
What’s your preference? ZRs, Minibuses, or Transport Board Buses? Why?
ZRs. I’m accustomed. transport board buses are too big.
What is your Life Philosophy?
Have you ever witnessed illegal drug use in vans?
Should public transportation have mandatory air-conditioning?
No because of the high aromas of different individuals.
What’s the scariest/ wildest moment you ever experience using public transportation?
Yeah, cradles, excessive speeding and driver got out the van and ran next to it.
Would you let your child use ZRs and Minibuses? Why?
Yes, knowledge of living area, don’t want kids growing up with a bourgeoisie mentality, he/she must know the basics.
What’s your message to providers of public transportations?
Improve image, be a more organized business, consideration and have a fix pay.
What’s your message to the Barbados Government on public transportation?
The Ministry of Transportation and Works needs to regulate and aid in improvement, to boost it. The van culture is a tourist attraction, although it holds a similarity to other Caribbean countries, the Barbadian van Culture is unique. The tourists are moving away from the taxi and want to get around on their own. It must be improved, not killed. Barbados must maintain it identity regionally and internationally
What is your view on the uniform implementation?
Too much, just have badges.