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Protesting transport operators leave commuters stranded in Buff Bay, Portland

Published:Monday | March 7, 2022 | 9:32 AM
Transport operators protesting in Buff Bay, Portland on March 7, 2022. - Gareth Davis Snr. photo.

Gareth Davis Snr / Gleaner Writer 

Commuters, including students, have been left stranded in Buff Bay, Portland as transport operators have withdrawn their services.

They are alleging that there is no designated route from Buff Bay to Port Antonio.

The operators are arguing that the absence creates an inconvenience for commuters. 

The protest started from as early as 5 o'clock this morning and there is little to no movement for commuters, especially students returning to school.

Spokesperson for the protesting operators, Floyd Thomas, explained that 39 buses were assigned to the route Port Antonio to Annotto Bay and then to Ocho Rios via Buff Bay, but that during the height of the pandemic, 30 of the vehicles were sold by the owners, leaving only nine buses to cover the existing route.

"Five buses were rerouted by the Transport Authority, which claimed that they have the power to do anything,” said Thomas. 

"But that is only a stop-gap measure. Those five buses are officially assigned to the route Port Antonio to Annotto Bay and Ocho Rios. We have applied to the Transport Authority to fill that void, but we are getting nowhere,” he said.

The operators have vowed to continue their protest unless their request for a road license to ply the route Buff to Port Antonio is honoured.

The operators argued that currently they are only able to ply the route Buff Bay to Skibo and Spring Garden, which they say creates a serious strain on the commuting public.

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