Letters to the Editor

J'accuse, JUTC!

Friday, March 09, 2018

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Dear Editor,

J'accuse! The State-owned, State-run transportation service of Jamaica has abdicated its responsibility towards the residents of Greater Portmore. I, myself, have been witness to and victim of the disservice of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company.

For one, there are not enough buses on the routes. On this particular day, March 7, 2018, I witnessed a 20A bus start rejecting passengers from its fifth stop. That's within walking distance — though a little ways away — from its dispatch. We were still in Greater Portmore, St Catherine. This means that would-be passengers from Silverstone, Portmore Pines, South Borough, Westmeade, Bridgeview, and Passage Fort were all denied entry. And this experience was not out of the ordinary.

These people were denied entry because the bus was filled to capacity — four stops in. This cannot be okay. In fact, when a bus (from any dispatch in Portmore) reaches the first stop on Dawkins Drive, near Portmore Mall, it resembles the slave ships of old. The bus is jam-packed, with no place to move — a rather undignified situation.

Of course, there is an alternative. The express services are always ready to accept passengers, but that's because fewer people take them, even though they go a farther distance. Fewer people take them because they are more expensive — 60 per cent more. This means that to be guaranteed a reliable, dignified transportation service in Portmore, one has to pay 60 per cent more. Why should we have a higher cost of living for simply living in Portmore?

I call on the Government to rectify this situation for Jamaica should be a place where we can live, work, raise families, and do business anywhere. And, it is becoming more and more difficult for the commuter to do and be from Portmore.

Nicholas Smith





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