Public transportation needs fixing

As a Caymanian I write my concerns, views and ideas regarding public transport for everyone who depends on it for work, shopping and meetings every day.

Our public transport does not only serve our locals but also our tourists, who also complain about prices.

I am asking the Government to take over the public transport system; to put a guideline in place for the school children and our elders.

This guideline should have a form of identification, which would include a photo of the individual, date of birth and physical address.

I would like to see a special fair for students and elders. And a way I see for this to be done is to collect a small fee for the processing of the form and cards on a three or six month or yearly basis to enable them to pay half price when travelling with their cards.

Each time they take the bus these cards would be shown to the drivers. If they don’t have one, the drivers would write their names and number on a sheet that Government will provide. This sheet should have the driver’s signature and bus number. Passengers would be given a ticket that would allow them one half-price trip along with a handout guideline sheet explaining the new changes along with details of location for process.

I believe the fares for elders and students are way too high. Travelling from George Town to West Bay, East End or North Side is $3-$4 for just one route. A child that is three and older should not have to pay these prices, nor should they be charged $2, which is more than half of $3. I have recently witnessed this happening where a 6-year-old was charged $2 on the route to East End. This affects the cost of living big time.

I feel so broken hearted for the domestic workers who travel each day from the west to go east or the other way around. Why I feel this is because they have to pay $3 from one point to George Town and then hop on another bus and pay another fare, which could be $3 if they are going straight in to either of these two districts one way or if half way, then it’s $2 for each point.

Here again a system could be put in place where one should only be paying full fare if they are in fact going one way. But if it’s bus to work and from work back on the bus to home, then a lower fare tickets should be issued with the date and time along with the district and bus name or number where they are going or coming from.

Here is an example: John Brown takes the bus GT No. 5 from George Town to West Bay and he needs to catch a bus back from West Bay the same day after work to get back to town. He should receive a ticket that would have the route name, number, bus name along with the date and time and this ticket would allow him a special fare for that one day. But in case he should take the bus in the morning and got a ride back either way at the end of the business day then he would be able to use that ticket the following day. This kind of ticket should also be used if one is leaving George Town to go to an appointment on West Bay Road and after that appointment the person has to go back to George Town and then on to Breakers all in one day. They should have the benefit of a special fare. At present this one day trip is costing an individual $16 and if they have to get back where it all began it would cost $8 more.

Another topic is the type of music and DVD’s that are being played on buses. My daughter was only five years old while travelling on a bus that had on a movie that was filled with indecent language and pictures. I can recall quite clearly a passenger sitting next to the driver asking him to turn it off or find something more appropriate to play as she made mention of my child on board. And the selection of music is no different.

Last but no least I would like to see changes done on the timing. Sometimes for more than an hour a person stands in the hot sun and rain while trying to find shelter while waiting for a bus.

This is all because many of the drivers are out there running against each other and don’t stop to wonder that persons miss the bus all because they changed their time in a day or because they forgot that they should have the passenger in mind first and not who can make the most in a day. I therefore am asking for help and I hope that it will come about very soon.

Between $30-$36 and $50-$60 a week is extremely high for many who can hardly put food on the table or buy their child a school bag, socks or any other kind of school supplies not to mention uniforms.

Please, Government, take over the public bus system and help the poorer class people.

Suzette Hibbert