Make tolls free for back-to-school Mondays
In a welcome move, the Government recently granted a toll-free extension along the May Pen to Williamsfield Highway until March 2024, bringing a sense of relief to daily commuters.
As we celebrate this positive step towards making travel more accessible, it’s worth considering the potential for similar initiatives on other significant days.
One such proposal is to advocate for tolls to be free of charge on the Monday of the back-to-school season. This initiative would not only spread a sense of cheer among students, parents, and educators, but also ease the financial burden on families gearing up for the academic year.
Back-to-school Mondays are traditionally marked by increased traffic as parents accompany their children to educational institutions, making it one of the more profitable days for toll collection. However, viewing this day as an opportunity to give back to the community by temporarily waiving toll fees can have far-reaching positive effects.
Firstly, a toll-free back-to-school Monday would contribute to a more joyful start to the academic year, fostering a positive atmosphere for both students and parents. It sends a message of support from the Government, recognising the financial challenges faced by families during this time.
Secondly, the initiative would alleviate the financial strain on parents who often face increased expenses associated with school supplies, uniforms, and other necessities. By removing toll fees on this specific day, the Government can demonstrate a commitment to making education more accessible and supporting families in their efforts to provide quality education for their children.
While it may be one of the more profitable days for toll collection, the potential long-term benefits of fostering goodwill within the community can outweigh the short-term gains. A toll-free back-to-school Monday can enhance public perception of the Government’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens, potentially leading to increased satisfaction and cooperation. Extending toll-free initiatives to include significant days such as the Monday of back-to-school can be a win-win situation for both the Government and Jamaica at large. It not only promotes a positive and supportive environment but also demonstrates a commitment to prioritising the well-being of citizens during key moments in their lives.
As we celebrate the toll-free extension along the May Pen to Williamsfield Highway, let’s consider the broader impact of such initiatives and the positive change they can bring to our society.
Leroy Fearon Jr, JP