'Lap-up' practice must stop, says concerned stakeholder
Girls sitting in the laps of boys while riding public transport to and from school is not a new phenomenon, but Glen Bromfield, chief executive officer of the Medallion Hall Hotel, who is also a transport operator, has expressed concern that a stop has not already been put to the practice.
Responding to a Sunday Gleaner article, where a mother in Portland had to transfer her daughter from her high school of choice because to get to school, the child had to sit in a boy's lap, Bromfield said that the situation was very distressing.
"The fact is we need more buses, we need more public transport and they have to be clear. If you are going to have a school bus service, we are going to need it now. I think we need the school bus service urgent just like we need houses," said Bromfield.
"This is happening throughout the entire island and happening to many of our children. It may not happen to us who have privilege and can take our kids to school or hire private transport, but I can assure you, it's very untidy. It's not nice 'overlapping' and 'underlapping', you name it, and what goes on by the boys and the girls is something to be seen on the public transportation of our country. It's a poor reflection of how we do things."
He added that he believed that bus conductors also needed to be licensed and trained in how they handle and provide services to members of the public.
Sitting on a committee formed by the Ministry of Education where he was asked to monitor the performance of the funds it had allotted to a number of schools throughout the island for transportation, Bromfield said that he found that the amount of $580 million throughout the entire island was inadequate.
Bromfield operates the transport company Bloomfield Jamaica Limited and said that he would be donating $50,000 to the mother and child featured in the story.