Public Transportation Hits a Pothole
Submitted by Anthony Davis
It seems to me that no one cares how and if the lower echelons get to/from their various destinations. We have a transport system which is totally unreliable, and neither the Minister of Transport, nor any of the heads of the private sector transport system is interested in rectifying it.
It is usual now to wait at least two or three hours for a Transport Board bus, and the private transport operators are not helping the situation. The vans/minibuses need to be regulated better where people can go to the vanstand, and expect a van/bus at a particular time, instead of them racing up and down behind each other.
Many people, especially parents/guardians who have children in primary or secondary schools, have to be up at about three in order to prepare their scions/wards for school and get themselves ready for the early bus which leaves their destination – which is usually 5 a.m. – to get to one of the terminals to get a bus to their places of work.
Lo and behold, people get to the terminals about 6 or 7 depending on how long the journey there takes. Can you imagine these same people standing/sitting in the terminals for sometimes three hours? Do you think that their employers will always believe that the bus was late?
I very much doubt it.
The same goes for when the commuters are trying to get home. They get to the terminals, and cannot get a bus home before two or three hours have elapsed. On the other hand one sees buses leaving the said terminals with no more than six persons in them, whereas there are long lines to other destinations which could fill two buses.
What’s the use of sending so many buses for the schoolchildren when many of them are not interested in getting to school? When the bus is called for certain students they ignore it, and then fill up those which are for people who are trying to go about their business.
Then we hear the following at various intervals: Commuters please note that we are having serious challenges with your transport. We do apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Don’t tell that to the commuters!
Take out an ad in the newspapers stating why the system is so broken then, maybe, the employers will start believing their employees. Then we hear a lot of rigmarole about the productivity of the populace. How can they be productive when they arrive at their workplaces already tired and frustrated?
It’s ok for those of you driving around in your high-end vehicles. You have them parked outside your homes, and many of them are being paid for by the said lower echelons of our society for whom many of you don’t give one fig. Can you imagine a single mother leaving home at 4.45 in the morning to head to work, and then returning home after 9 or 10?
Are they super mums?
How much can they help their scions when they are so beat?
They barely have time for a few hours sleep.
Many of the employees in the terminals need some personnel training, because they lack manners. It is disrespectful and downright despicable how those who head the public transport systems treat the commuters.
The populace of this country deserve a much better public transport system – especially seeing that we are splashing out millions of dollars for our 50th anniversary of Independence, and they are paying such horrendous amounts of taxes.
Now the Minister of Transport is saying that there will be more buses on the road soon. I’m very suspicious about anything which has to do with time when it comes to this Government. Soon can mean any time between tomorrow, and more than a year down the road. An example of that is the Minister of the Environment stating that we’ll have anti-environment pollution laws on the statute books soon, and it’s more than a year since that announcement.
He seems to be sidestepping that issue, although that is more important than eating/drinking healthy and exercising.
A year can mean for eternity.
Example: The tax collector’s promise of returning the VAT to its former status within a year after raising it. It’s almost time for the bell to toll, and the VAT is still probably the highest in the Caribbean.
Mr. Minister, school buses usually leave punctually!
It’s the travelling public who need the buses to be punctual, so that they can get to their various destinations early – especially those who have to get to work.
The very next day after the minister’s propaganda visit the bus service was back to its two-hour/three-hour schedule in the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.