Public transport horrors

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Taxi and bus operators are the best examples of the very worst customer service.

They make no apology for ensuring that their passengers know that their only concern is the $100 or the fee they pay for their fares.

In fact, if they could load their vehicles with garbage, transport it somewhere, and still collect money, I'm sure they would.

And, quite honestly, that would be more suitable for themselves as well as for passengers.

They force you into their crammed buses and taxis; demand that you sit or stand in very uncomfortable, limited spaces; blast loud and unsavoury music in your ears; and take you on a very 'eventful' and horrendous journey of danger and mayhem.

These bus and taxi operators seem a law unto themselves. Some of them arbitrarily raise their fares, without any explanation, when they feel like it. Or some recklessly break every single road rule with impunity.

The other day I took a Coaster bus to Spanish Town and had the most horrifying experience of my life. When I boarded the bus I honestly believed that the seating arrangement — which was about 50 per cent over the seating capacity of the vehicle — would be the most frightening thing. That's until the bus left the park and the driver demonstrated a patience level extremely opposite to that of Job.

We'd barely made it out of the town before the bus almost collided head-on with another Coaster. And, at every single traffic light our driver overtook the entire queue, drove to the extreme front of the line, and waited until the light for the opposite lane showed amber before driving off. I am not even sure if he broke the red light, because by driving to the extreme front of the queue the lights were not visible from our position.

The driver even drove on several 'road islands' in order to avoid waiting in traffic.

I must give credit to these drivers, though. One would think that such reckless driving would result in far more accidents. But each time I thought, “This is it now, dead mi dead now,” our driver managed to avoid a collision.

And I am absolutely stunned at the fact that I made it to my destination in one piece.

I appreciate the shortage of resources with which the police and the Transport Authority operate, but I would love to see undercover police officers routinely taking these buses and nabbing some of these road bulls.

I swear, the source of a misery-filled day is a half an hour journey on any one of these modes of transport.

Stevian Simmonds

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