Letters to the Editor

JUTC: Still undependable!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

This morning I left home around 6:30 am and arrived at work at 9:01 am. Why, you might ask? Was there traffic on the road, or an accident? No, there wasn't. This is my story.

I live in Newlands, Portmore, which is served by the number 12 Jamaica Urban Transit Company bus route. There is a bus stop in close proximity to my house and, as the norm, I walked to the Newlands stoplight (number 20 bus route) just to increase my chances of getting a bus earlier. If a number 12 bus happened to come along then, expectedly, I would take it.

Just like every other morning, I walked out to the Newlands traffic light. After waiting for what seemed like forever, a number 20 bus arrived, but, unfortunately, the ticket machine wasn't working. No surprise there! The driver did not take up any commuters. Shortly after, another number 20 bus came, which flew past us — understandably, as it was packed. Sadly, I had to wait for the next available bus.

Please bear in mind that I had to stand while waiting with the other passengers who suffered the same fate. This included children, young, and the young at heart. After a tiring wait, a number 12 bus came. And you can only try to guess what happened — you guessed it right, it broke down!

Now, by this time, we were all irate; it was now 12 minutes to 8 o'clock. Happily, another bus came quite quickly to relieve the “broken down” bus. With mixed feelings, we boarded, paid our fares, took our tickets, and found our seats, but this was short-lived as the bus we were on, after picking up passengers and passing the next bus stop could not take up anymore passengers as the ticket machine on the bus started to malfunction. This left scores of people living in the communities of Newlands and Cumberland stranded. There were schoolchildren who will have to accept another tardy mark on their report cards, and working professionals who, like me, will have to sign below the red line.

This cannot continue. Should we really accept this kind of disservice? This story is not one for a blue moon, there are tales of these mishaps and crowed bus stops every week for people living in Portmore.

I say this for everyone, if the Government cannot implement strategies to improve the bus system for Portmore residents, put some more of the Coaster buses back on routes, as this is infuriatingly unacceptable.

K W

Newlands, Portmore

St Catherine

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