From Portmore to Tollmore
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Come Saturday, July 5, 2014, users of Highway East-West will be asked to dig deeper in their pockets to use the different legs.
The one of greatest concern is the Portmore toll. Portmore is a municipality that is overpopulated. Suffice it to say, more than 70 per cent of the residents of Portmore work and conduct daily business outside of the Sunshine City. This increase will now force the highway users to use the highly congested and long Mandela Highway. Mandela Highway is certainly not a good route for people who are trying to reach work and go to their business on time. With a heavy traffic flow from Spanish Town, a bus lane and traffic from Portmore, that is mere congestion.
Perhaps some people will be forced to sell their vehicles because of the toll increase and weekly spike in fuel prices. With them selling their vehicles, that would force them to take the bus. And we know the State-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company can hardly meet the demands now, not to mention if this should happen.
NO GOOD GOVERNANCE
How could the minister consider giving the approval for an increase at this time when there are other options? Cabinet should have done something. Public-sector workers' wages are frozen. They have bills to pay, food prices increase daily, and the dollar keeps devaluing.
It was an irresponsible and careless move by the Government of the day to have signed the agreement that we now have for this highway. A yearly increase? That is downright cruelty to the people. It is actually taxing the residents more each year to leave and return to their homes.
The Government needs to engage the Toll Authority in a renegotiation of the contract or make some better arrangements for the residents of Portmore.
President, Optimist Club of
Portmore Community College