O for a quiet ride on Knutsford
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On July 23, I took a 5 a.m. Knutsford Express bus to Kingston from Montego Bay. As we pulled out of the depot, I asked the driver to turn off the music that he was playing over the bus' PA system.
Because of the very early hour, I wanted to try to catch some sleep on the four-hour ride. The driver, Simon, refused and claimed that the other passengers "paid" for music. However, among the "luxury coach features" stated in the company's brochure, there is no mention of being subjected to music that you may not wish to hear.
Nevertheless, some passengers objected to my request for quiet and suggested that I travel in the luggage compartment; on the roof; stick my fingers in my ears; or walk. Several claimed that "majority rules" and so I should shut up and sit down.
I reminded them that majoritarianism was also used to justify slavery in the US, and female genital mutilation in parts of Africa. They responded: "That was long ago and we FOUGHT to end that." Clearly, my fight for my right to a quiet ride was lost on them.
I have since been advised that Knutsford Express views "entertainment" as part of the travel package. I would, therefore, like to request that, if the company insists on imposing the musical tastes of drivers on paying passengers, they should at least provide free earplugs for those of us who wish to travel in quiet.
Montego Bay, St James