Don't move us - rural bus operators upset with route change
Bus driver Kenroy Chambers who plies the downtown Kingston to May Pen route is imploring the Government to roll back its decision to have the route terminated at the Water Lane Transport Centre.
The Transport Authority's decision to change the termination route of rural stage carriage operators in four parishes resulted in bus operators withdrawing their service in protest yesterday morning.
The current road licence for the affected routes will no longer be valid at the end of August.
Operators told THE STAR that as of today they must utilise the Water Lane centre, and not the Darling Street bus park they have used for years.
"This is the straw that break the camel back. The minister of transport with their lack of vision and mismanagement of leadership for this country," said Chambers.
He said the park can properly facilitate the people within the city as they can purchase their goods and carry them easily since the market and the wholesale are close by.
Crime and violence in downtown Kingston is also a deterrent to relocation.
Chambers said: "We are in a very secure environment right now with the Darling Street police being right here. So I don't know why somebody would take us from this environment, and put us in a very dangerous environment."
Shift in location
Passengers are also fearful and say the shift in location would put a strain on their pockets.
A woman told THE STAR: "It is too lonely to walk go down there. We pay $200 on the cart to come here with our goods and they are going to charge us double to go down there."
Chambers is demanding that the Government 'wheel and come again' and asked the Transport Minister to meet with them.
THE STAR understands that strikes were also held yesterday in Manchester, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland and St Catherine.
Efforts by our news team to get a response from Transport Minister Mike Henry proved futile as several calls to his cell phone went unanswered.