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Gov't driving transport sector into ruination

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It goes without saying that the transportation sector is vital to the productive sectors of any economy, especially to an economy which is ailing and suffering from a debt hangover.

The local public-transport system, whether in rural or urban Jamaica, is woefully lacking, both in quality and quantity of service. It's well known that most public transport operators frequently run afoul of the road regulations and imperil the lives of commuters.

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company is not immune to the virus of road misuse. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, and despite the protestation of certain segments of the society, it requires no logic to deduce that the transportation sector has been dealt a merciless blow to its solar plexus.

The recently outlined revenue measures, coupled with already extant difficulties such as poor road infrastructure and high prices at the pumps, have gone a far way towards ensuring that the work of a transport operator borders on insolvency.

With horns of discontent already being sounded, it can be fairly stated that these cries for 'justice' are financially legitimate. After all, transport operators have families to support as well.

So, it is with this in mind that it would only be equitable for the transport operators to be granted a moderate increase in fare rates. The increase does not have to reflect the full amount requested by the representative bodies.

This conclusion is against the backdrop that commuters have to be considered when granting increases, as such a middle ground can be struck by granting a moderate increase on fare rates. Such a decision may just save many operators from extinction.

NOEL FORBES MATHERSON

noelmatherson@gmail.com