Fri | Jan 19, 2018

JUTC commuter's nightmare

Published:Monday | October 17, 2016 | 12:21 AM



I am one of the many Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) commuters who is subjected to the inefficient service of a bus company whose motto is, "Your route to excellence".

I think it is sheer torture for commuters to rise from the luxury of their warm beds at 4 a.m. or leave work in a state of fatigue only to be left stranded at the bus stop while the drivers have their morning coffee or evening supper.

A perfect example of this is my own experience two weeks ago as I arrived at the Half-Way Tree transport centre at 8:45 p.m. I was really exhausted from a gruelling day of school and relished the sight of two of my 17A buses.

However, I was disillusioned in thinking that I would soon be on my way home as, 45 minutes later, I was still standing in the same position. This lengthy wait contributed to my already hurting back, and to add insult to injury, I could see the drivers in conversation in the comfort of the air-conditioned units bought and paid for with taxpayers' money.

The total disregard for passenger's time must be addressed as it affects productive activities. There is the additional distress of poor customer service by both drivers and supervisors.

Drivers take no second thought in engaging passengers in heated arguments even to the point of uttering expletives while supervisors seem to be continuously clueless about the arrival of buses as well as neglect to communicate delays in an appropriate manner.

They profess to run on a timely schedule, but it is a schedule that is rigidly ineffective and has resulted in loss of finances, loss of customers and loss of public reputation.

Must we as commuters - without whom many of them would fail to secure employment - continue to bear the brunt of their incivility?

I strongly urge the company's leadership to reflect on its policies in terms of scheduling as well as retrain staff in the art of customer service.

If the JUTC management wishes to boost profit they must first boost their level of service. Is it too much to ask for employees to be held to a higher level of accountability to ensure that the motto remains "your route to excellence?"

Suzette Wilkie

Student, Shortwood Teachers' College