All the best to Robert Sharpe and JUTC team

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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Dear Editor,

We complain, we rant, and rave; we curse and belittle people and/or organisations whenever we are not satisfied with what we are receiving or not receiving. However, how many of us take time to acknowledge and commend those who will endeavour to do or go the extra mile to satisfy our comfort zones? I dare say people do, but not many will make public their appreciations and commendations as they will hasten to do for criticism.

I feel empathy for the drivers in the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) system, as they oftentimes face challenges and adversities from the commuting public who become hostile and indifferent towards them. I can only imagine the perplexity and anxiety that these men and women experience each time they take their position around the steering wheel of these buses to begin their work. These drivers are human, not robots, and so they too have their own personal concerns to deal with. But when on the job they are expected to be professional and deliver quality service, as mandated by the company.

But how can this happen without the partnership of the commuting public, both passengers of JUTC buses and other road users — motorists and pedestrians?

Let us start viewing these drivers as an integral part of our modus operandi and encourage and motivate them to provide the best possible service. It is not an easy feat, especially when these men and women are 'classed' as “driva bwoy” or “driva gyal” and are looked down on as if they are not playing an important role in society. We need to show more respect towards each other in order to eradicate the aggression that is tantamount to hopelessness in today's society. Even if a driver is seemly disrespectful, we should be the bigger man/woman and still show him/her respect. At the end of the day this will surely bear fruit. Our drivers need to feel safe when delivering the services, as we too want to be assured of being safely transported to our destinations and on time.

On behalf of the commuting passengers, I must express my deepest respect and appreciation for the JUTC drivers, especially those assigned to the New Harbour Villages, Longville Park and Claremont routes in St Catherine. These drivers are beacons in the JUTC system. Of special note, there is an outstanding driver, Robert Sharpe, who serves the #132 route in the mornings. He is a true ambassador for JUTC. He is very reliable, punctual, respectful, and courteous. His mannerism and deportment are exemplary. He displays a high level of professionalism and one could easily think that he is a member of the Customer Service Department at JUTC because of the way in which he sells the product “JUTC” to the passengers whenever he has to address any issues that may arise from time to time. He communicates a clear message and maintains an equitable standard so that no one will feel marginalised or unwelcome on the bus.

Sharpe is a good role model, and we recommend him to the management team of JUTC as a useful resource person who can add value in a tangible manner for the betterment of the entity.

JUTC, you have come a long way, have lost the ball along the way, have some ground to cover, but with drivers like Sharpe and others you can get back into the game and score goals!

All the best to the management and staff at JUTC as you work assiduously to achieve your goal.

Dawn Alcott

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