Fri | Jun 18, 2021

JUTC corruption

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM


"It is the little foxes that destroy the grapes." Many Jamaicans have already established in their minds that corruption is the modus operandi of our Government.

Although there has been a decrease in our Corruption Perception Index over the last three years, from 99 out of 180 countries in 2009 to 86 out of 182 countries in 2011, Jamaica is still too corrupt. In principle, if the head is sick, the body is sick also. This is the sorrowful state of our country.

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, my family and I took a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus home. Our family consists of four, two small children and both parents. On entering the 'yellow bus', as it is affectionately called by my son, I paid the fare for four, which adds up to $200. As expected, the driver rang up four tickets and the journey continued.

However, a quick check of the tickets revealed that while accepting payment for two adults and two children, the tickets received in exchange was for four children, which would cost $80.

I pointed it out to the driver, who realised his error and rang up two more tickets, while resting the two additional children's tickets on the ticket dispenser.

It would have meant nothing to me if, on May 4, 2012, the same incident had not occurred. While travelling alone, I paid $80 and the driver rang up a 'child' ticket, not an adult one. He, too, placed the child ticket on the dispenser, awaiting the next unsuspecting target.

Certainly, I can recall at least three other occasions when this has happened and I ignored it as an error, but now I suspect corruption! quotes Greg Christie as saying: "It should now be abundantly clear to all Jamaicans that unless they demand monumental changes in the country's existing moral, ethical and legal anti-corruption codes, and in its approach to the conjoint issues of transparency, accountability and good governance in the administration of the affairs of the Jamaican State, 10 years from now we will still be at the same place, talking about the same things.

I encourage all well-thinking Jamaicans not to ignore corruption but to speak out about it to the shame of the perpetrators. And to the management of JUTC, why not introduce a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy? If any driver is accused of fraud three times, he's out!