Sun | Oct 21, 2018

LETTER OF THE DAY - Scrap Mandela Highway bus lane

Published:Tuesday | September 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: It has dawned on me that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, through its different agencies, is bent on making traversing from St Catherine to Kingston in the mornings a most frustrating and expensive experience.

Now, there is a bus lane installed and commissioned by the Transport Authority and the JUTC, which is unfair, unconscionable and extortionist in character.

What has it caused? MORE traffic on the Mandela Highway in the mornings, MORE gas for commuters, and MORE time on the road. The JUTC management is claiming efficiency for this measure but to the detriment of others. Why should it cost me more to make JUTC run more efficiently? Unfair! Nobody helps me to buy gas for my vehicle, which I already have to do without lunch to afford.

heading into Kingston

Commuters heading into Kingston are stopped at that intersection before Six Miles to allow JUTC buses to rejoin the line of traffic heading into Kingston. Sometimes, other vehicles use this lane, which makes it even worse.

The people from Portmore cannot use Mandela as an alternative route, AS IT WAS CLAIMED TO BE, due to this change. So it doesn't make sense.

This also impacts commuters heading west (into Spanish Town) in the mornings. There is also a pile-up of traffic in the mornings on that side of the road because of the lane being assigned to the JUTC. Do the decision makers consider the amount of extra gas that this system demands for commuters?

Ridiculous arrangements

Prior to this new system, I did not have to take the toll. Now, I MUST take the toll. So I have to pay $120 more every day and it costs me more gas. Again, why do I have to pay extra for the JUTC to run more efficiently?

Finally, based on this new traffic arrangement, there is no way I can turn back once I get on Mandela - even if there is an emergency and I have to go back home. Ridiculous!

Our decision makers in this country are too myopic and shallow and so often do not do due diligence or impact assessment before they make these changes. They are too quick to make changes that make them look good, even if these adjustments cause others to suffer.

This JUTC bus lane must be removed. I challenge them to find another way to operate efficiently other than to ask stressed-out commuters to bear the financial burden.


Bellevue Heights, St Catherine