MPs still press for rural bus system

By Balford Henry Observer senior reporter

Friday, September 21, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!

MARISA Dalrymple-Philibert, opposition spokesperson on Education and Human Resource Development, has joined the chorus of rural MPs seeking the implementation of a proper public transportation system for rural students.

The issue was raised by Opposition MP, Pearnel Charles, in his contribution to the sectoral debate in July. It was endorsed by Government member for South East St. Elizabeth, Richard Parchment, at a function in Myersville in his constituency in August.

On Tuesday, Dalrymple-Philibert, highlighted it in her contribution to the ongoing debate on the implementation of the National Parenting Support Commission and policy.

According to her, the lack of a proper system of public transportation for rural children was creating parental stress induced by hardship and poverty. She said that it would have to be an economic priority in making parenting easier.

"We have to look at rural public transportation for our children because the threat is there. There is great parental stress," she said, pointing out that MPs were allowed to use their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) funds to meet challenges like these.

Her intervention followed an appeal last week from former Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, for the government to keep intact his proposed seven-year 'multi-modal' urban/rural transport plan, which should have been implemented by the previous administration.

Henry, who represents Central Clarendon, said the rural aspect of this plan would have first rolled out in Clarendon, before expanding to Manchester and then on to St Elizabeth, beginning this month.

He said 40 buses would have been rolled out in the first phase, and some 260 buses would eventually be on the road in the three parishes.

However, current Minister of Transport and Works, Dr Omar Davies, has insisted that the cost of financing a rural bus system is not something the country can afford at this time.

The matter has been discussed at the Cabinet level, but while there is general agreement on the need for the service it is not considered a priority at this time due to the government's financial constraints.





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Do you think an increase in JUTC bus fares is justified at this time?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon