St Ann busmen illegally hiking fares
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Please allow me to bring to the attention of Transport Minister Mike Henry, the Transport Authority, and various taxi associations the practice of scamming being perpetuated by the so-called legal coaster and minibus operators who ply the downtown Kingston to Brown's Town and downtown Kingston to Ocho Rios routes.
I recently boarded one of these coaster buses that was heading from downtown Kingston to Brown's Town. Before the bus left the park, the driver came around to make an announcement that the fare would be $600. I inquired then what it would be if I were stopping in Moneague or Claremont, to which he responded that it would still be the same $600 (the correct fare is $400). On another such occasion, I boarded an Ocho Rios bus and the conductor charged $500 to stop in Moneague (correct fare is $350).
It is common practice for these operators to overcharge the commuting public as they declare that driving on the highway warrants an automatic fare increase. When I protested, I was verbally abused and also reprimanded by the conductor and even fellow passengers.
The transport ministry should put measures in place so that this practice is stopped. Bus operators seem to be a law unto themselves. Minister Mike Henry, please intervene!