Ignore the JLP; fares must increase
There are reports that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is planning street protests to register its opposition to the announced bus fare increase. While it would seem that the JLP is better at making a lot of noise than proposing real solutions, I would urge Jamaicans to ignore the JLP.
While the increase in the bus fare is something that most of us would not want, the truth of the matter is that the JUTC is broke and it cannot sustain its operations for much longer with the current fares. I don't think any of us would want to see the JUTC collapse, returning us to the days of the middle passage.
However, I do think that the increase as it relates to seniors is a bit steep. Then again, in order to help mitigate the increase, I would suggest that passengers consider using the smarter card instead of paying by cash.
The transport minister recently announced a plan whereby passengers using the card will get a discount. I suspect that that plan is still to be implemented.
I really was hoping that the JLP would have shown some maturity by suggesting practical ways in which the JUTC could have reduced expenses or increase its revenues by means other than a fare increase. Instead, it has fallen back on its old habit of planning public protests -- as if they are going to make any difference.
Michael A Dingwall