Traumatised that Knutsford Express left me in the middle of nowhere

Traumatised that Knutsford Express left me in the middle of nowhere

Friday, January 17, 2020

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Dear Editor,

On Friday, January 10, 2020 I took the Knutsford Express from Kingston to Savanna-la-Mar. Mandeville was the first stop so I took the opportunity to ask the driver if the outlets that are provided for recharging electronic devices are working because he did not say so when he gave the “Welcome to the Knutsford Express...” introduction, as is customary. His reply was that he is not using the outlet so he would not know if the outlet is working, so if I am making a complaint he will bring it to the company's attention. That was my first and most unpleasant interaction with the driver.

The bus later arrived in Luana and the driver announced that this will be a rest stop. As such I left the bus and went to the restroom. After leaving the restroom and realising that the driver was not at the steering wheel I quickly ran to the convenience store on the same plaza because I was not feeling well. On my return I found that the bus had already left.

In this moment I felt a sense of panic, but in an effort to not be crippled by anxiety and fear I immediately ran to the agent at the sub office and asked her to inform the driver that I was still at the rest stop in Luana. The agent, after speaking with the driver, informed me that the he said he would not be turning around.

I have been a victim of unspeakable trauma which I thought I had long forgotten until I was forced to relive it all by being left in the middle of nowhere, which is exactly where Luana is — the middle of nowhere. Needless to say that unless you suffer from anxiety or experience some kind of trauma you will not be able to understand the slew of emotions I felt in that moment with dread being the most constant.

The agent, realising that there is no way I would survive the night, seeing there is nothing around for miles offered me a ride to Black River. From there it was my constant concern whether I would ever make it to my destination. I then had to find extra money to get to a place called Whitehouse, which is apparently a checkpoint I could only go through after presenting identification because of a rise in crime in the area. That was my first stop of many during this terrifying experience, as I had to now take another taxi, finding yet again more money to cover travel expenses I had already paid in full to get to Savanna-la-Mar.

On arrival I reported the incident to a representative in Savanna-la-Mar and again when I returned to Kingston on Monday, January 13, 2020, but I am yet to hear from anyone about how this incident will be treated.

Calling the Knutsford Express office did not help, as one representative was kind enough to tell me that there is nothing she can do as the driver was well within his right to leave me.

Now, it seems I am being made well aware that, in the grand scheme of things, my one life clearly does not matter, based on the responses I have been getting from the very company that professed to offer safety and comfort. I was not comfortable, and I sure as hell did not feel safe.

This could have been your family member, mother, daughter, sister, or brother who was left for dead in a place where no one would think to look or even find them. I strongly believe that if I, as a customer, do not hold this company accountable and publicly mention this whole ordeal someone else might not be as lucky as I was.

It is also worth noting that one does not get this kind of treatment when travelling to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios as proper checks are made to ensure all passengers are present and accounted for.

D'coda Dixon

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