Public Transport Service Corporation

Driving for Excellence


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Us

 

 


History

The Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC)  is a statutory body governed by the Public Transport Service Act Chapter 48:02. Under section 8 of the Act, the Corporation is mandated inter alia "to provide  a safe, adequate and economic public transportation system, adapted to the needs of the country".

 

It all began with the establishment of the Trinidad Railway Company in 1846. The Company surveyed our beautiful country with the intention of implementing a railway system. However, the finances needed to continue with this project were not available.

 

Subsequently, on Saturday 5th March 1859 the Cipero Tramroad became Trinidad’s first railway. It was planters’ line that passed between Mission (now Princes Town) and  Kings Wharf at San Fernando. It was used primarily to transport produce from the remote estates of the Naparimas out to Kings Wharf to waiting ships. The man responsible for this tramway was sugar planter William Eccles.

 

The tramway was used primarily for transporting produce but there was a great demand for the transportation of workers from one estate to another along the line. A number of prominent persons also indicated their desire to commute by tramway rather than by horseback. The owners of the tramways could not ignore the demands of the commuters and facilitated a few passengers; this started the tramway’s first passenger service. It also acted as the first postal service between San Fernando and Mission. The Cipero Tramroad was greatly successful and lasted up to the 1920’s before it was absorbed into the Trinidad Government Railway.


In 1873, the Trinidad Railway Company embarked on another extensive survey of the country, this time with the required finance and began laying down railway lines. This work started on South Quay, Port of Spain, north of the lighthouse jetty with the intention of extending to Arima. A long row of wooden buildings was erected on South Quay and acted as the first railway station. The first section of lines was laid down to San Juan, then progressed from San Juan to St. Joseph. Finally, on Santa Rosa Day, Thursday 31st 1876, the train set out for Arima to commence the first railway service in Trinidad.  The railways came in the best of times as it offered speed and all weather travel.


There was a demand for the extension of the railway, and a southern line was almost immediately started. On January 16th 1880, Couva was greeted by His Excellency the Governor Sir Henry Irving and their Royal Highnesses Prince Albert Victor and Prince George (who eventually became King George V). They were the sons of King Edward VII and grandsons of Queen Victoria. The Couva line was then officially opened to the public.

 

The railway continued southwards and reached San Fernando in April 1882. The line was officially opened to the public on April 16th that year. In 1884 a service was started from San Fernando to Princes Town (“Mission” changed its name because of the Princes’ visit in 1880).

 

The Arima line was doing quite well and had given the cocoa industry a great boost, but the Sangre Grande cocoa planters yet requested an extension of the service. The line was extended to Guanapo in 1896 and formally opened in Sangre Grande on September 1st 1897. In 1898, the railway line branched off from the Cunupia Farm, a point on the southern line, and ran through the Caparo Village to Tabaquite. The junction made at Cunupia Farm became known as Jerningham Junction (after the Governor at that time, Sir Hubert Jerningham).

 

In 1913 when oil began to flow, the San Fernando line was extended through the oil regions to Siparia. In 1914, cocoa planters made demands for the service in Caparo Valley, and the railway was extended to Rio Claro. This was the last extension for the Trinidad Government Railway. The system was scrapped in the 1960s for diverse reasons and the last line went out in 1968.

 

Up to the end of the 19th century, the main mode of transporting passengers was by animal traffic, the railway train or the electric tram. The year 1910 saw the first motor bus services in Trinidad, they were run by two Siparia business men, Newallo and Asgaralli Syne. Syne’s Bus Service plied between Siparia and San Fernando and to St. James in Port of Spain and as far south as Icacos, where he had headquarters.

 

Syne and Newallo were the only two bus services available up to the beginning of the First World War. By 1920 the amount of registered motor vehicles rose from about 100 to 1,176. Because of this rapid increase, authorities brought out legislation for the licensing, use and control of vehicles. In January 1920 a notice was published stating that all lorries and buses needed a permit to operate on public roads.

  

Although there was an increase in the number of buses on the road, the service was limited. In early 1920 one service was started between Four Roads and Macqueripe by a man named Charles Ross of Ross’ Bazaars. By 1923, the railway service was witnessing a drastic decline in the number of passengers transported; this was mainly because of competition from the buses. By the mid 1920’s the bus became the ‘great vehicle of public transportation’ all over Trinidad.

  

The establishment of the Public Transport Service Corporation (P.T.S.C.) arose out of the report of a working party on bus transport in Trinidad and Tobago appointed by Government on November 21st 1964. It was comprised of Senior Government officials and representatives of the Trade Unions concerned. As a result of their findings on December 2nd 1964, Government decided that public (or state) ownership of the bus transport industry should take effect from January 1st 1965.

  

The Public Transport Service Corporation, sole-operator of the country’s commercial bus service, came into being on May 1st 1965 as a result of the Transport Service Act Number II of that year. The Act mandated that P.T.S.C. provide a safe, clean and inexpensive transport service for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.