THE Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) believes the Suva City Council is being defensive over the safety of the Suva bus station and is irrational in blaming the design of the terminal on the fact that Fiji is a developing country.
In a statement, the FBOA president Virendra Kewal said the association believes that being a developing country could not be legitimately used as an excuse for a bus terminal design that clearly poses a risk to the public.
"In trying to clear up this issue, the FBOA is also mindful that now is not the time for finger-pointing over the deaths at the Suva bus station last Tuesday," Mr Kewal said.
"FBOA believes that bus terminals that require buses to reverse to leave bus stations are a serious concern to the safety of pedestrians and this should be changed."
The FBOA also suggests SCC should call a meeting of all stakeholders to thoroughly examine all the safety issues that need to be addressed at the Suva bus station before embarking on what could turn out to be a costly project.
SCC CEO Bijay Chand said they had already embarked on its major project for the redevelopment of the Suva Market and the Suva Bus Terminal.
"The consultants have been appointed and we are progressing on this project which is estimated to cost $70million, part of this project is the consultation phase involving all stakeholders including bus operators and market vendors," Mr Chand said.
"The current works and measures undertaken at the bus station are to improve and enhance pedestrian safety and bus station management as an interim measure.
"We will ensure the project on the new bus terminal will meet international standards in terms of pedestrian safety and overall management of bus terminal."
He added a meeting with the bus operators and LTA was scheduled for this week to address the problems and concerns from all parties.