LETTER OF THE DAY - How fair is the fare across Jamaica?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
In light of the recent increase announced by the transport minister on the heels of the back-to-school shopping by parents who are forking out thousands for school supplies, government workers with salary freeze and retired citizens who spent their years working hard, making their contribution to our country I would like to drop my own two cents in the mix.
The increase in fares is not only absurd, but not practical to ask the same persons you already instructed to tighten their belts around their waists to add another loop and tighten even further when it is the Jamaica Urban Transit Company that is to be blamed for not operating efficiently and effectively, causing them to lose millions of dollars.
They need to go back to the drawing board as an increase in fares will not stop the waste but temporarily patch a gap. Yes, until they need more money.
Let's move out of town a bit since the increase in senior citizens fares is the one that shock us. Noting the peaceful march being organised protesting the increase of fares, I have to inquire who will march for the senior citizens in the rural parts of this country who have to find $100 or $200, in some cases, to take the regular taxis and buses in order to make their trips to the town squares to do businesses? Did their service to our country not worth anything? Is it any lesser than those who retired in the metropolitan area? We need to not only look out for the elderly in the city but right across Jamaica.
Parents in rural communities are also faced with these prices to send their children to school. When children in the city are paying $20 to commute, in other rural areas the minimum is $100, and it depends on the destination. It will be more, so hearing a parent who says they have to find $1,000 per day to send their child to school is real.
I want Jamaica to be fair when protesting. This is not only affecting one part or one set of citizens in Jamaica. The only difference is that the JUTC does not offer service to them. They too have a cry. The protest should be not only about those who live in, under or near the bright lights of Half-Way Tree, but those who traverse the hills and valleys of our beautiful island we call home. ALL A WE A ONE.