Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Kingston is not Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | September 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Recently I have been forced to question my nationality. This as utterances following the fare increase of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) have left me wondering if persons are aware that Kingston is not Jamaica.

As a people, we can all sympathise with those affected by the increase. However, we have to bear in mind the rest of the country. This as in reality, even with the increase, persons using the JUTC are far more fortunate than those of us who live in rural Jamaica, some of whom earn even lower salaries and share similar responsibilities.


Sadly, even the Leader of the Opposition seems oblivious of this fact. For example, having resumed my education, I have had the opportunity of using the JUTC on numerous occasions and I find it imperative to point out that the distance covered for $100 and less (in the case of children and the elderly) costs two and sometimes up to three times as much in St Ann, where I live.

As it relates to the effect on the working class, I have had to do without work for years before deciding to head back to school, because after deducting bus fare from my salary, what I'm left with could not even afford me lunch for the week - a situation I wasn't facing alone.

Am I saying those affected by the JUTC fare hike should not let their voices be heard on the issue? No. Rather, I believe the time has come for all Jamaicans to join forces and call for more affordable means of transportation for all Jamaicans. The effort cannot be concentrated on the Corporate Area only, as all Jamaicans are suffering.

Furthermore, I believe talking against the fare increase on the grounds that it cuts further into the shrinking income of the users is shallow, because it misses the main issue which is the JUTC's lack of proper management.

Patricia Clarke