STUDENTS SHUN 'SAFE' BUSES - State-owned transport reap little success in Clarendon

October 27, 2015
Transport Minister Mike Henry has announced that 100 Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses will be repaired before the end of the fiscal year.

Despite being proposed as a safer option, many Clarendon students have refused to use the rural school bus system that was created to protect them.

In September 2012, the Transport Ministry introduced the bus system as a pilot project, Rural Safe School Bus Programme, in response to accidents involving students in the rural area.

Recently, Transport Minister Omar Davies revealed that the project had performed below expectations, mainly because students have been refusing to use the bus system.

However, a sixth former at a high school from Central Clarendon told THE STAR that the students reject the buses because they are slower than the 'robot taxis and buses'.

"Contrary to assumptions that we take the 'robot taxis and buses' for the loud music and bad behaviour, a lot of times, we are really late and the JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company) buses take forever to reach because they stop-stop," she said.

Her sentiments were shared by another student from a school in the South Clarendon region.

"I am already always late because I live far from school and the few times my friends and I take the bus, we end up really late and get cussed out by the teacher," the third-form female student added.

For another second-form student, travelling on the 'robot buses' gives him the opportunity to hear music he wouldn't be able to hear at home.

"The music on the minibuses nice and loud. I can't really listen to this raw music loud at home. Most girls take this bus anyways, and we want travel with dem," he added.

The state-owned buses were also described as "lame" by the students, who say they will continue to reject them.

"Frankly, when you going school in the morning, a little loud music gives you a vibe for the rest of the day, and the yellow bus dem lame bad," one of the students said.

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