Editorial

A Public Disservice

G. Islet Bus Drivers

Of all the laws on this country’s books, there must be a few that speak to enforcing public safety and cleanliness, particularly as it pertains to the state of public minibuses.

One would think that with all the calls being made for a higher level of service across sectors, that the public transportation sector would see it fit to raise the bar. Unfortunately, it seems that the worst-case scenarios always have to precede the best of things as far as quality is concerned.

Just by taking a cursory look at the interior of some minibuses plying the various bus routes, one gets the impression that some minibus owners/drivers care more about the mighty dollar and less about the four-wheeled means via which they earn their bread and butter.

From soiled seat covers to foul scents and noises caused by loose parts, one wonders whether some of these minibuses actually pass their fitness tests. Are passengers really getting their money’s worth despite the many concessions minibus drivers are getting from the government?

Minibus drivers/owners ought to know by now that sanitation should be a crucial part of their bread-winning hustle. They need to understand that millions of germs can accumulate over time, posing a health risk to passengers. Moreover, many customers use these minibuses when transporting their groceries, posing a further health risk from contamination.

Quite often, the case seems to be that the relative organizations here are more about getting information out on the need for quality service. However, it remains to be seen whether such organizations – including the health department and minibus associations – actually enforce what their literatures states.

There really needs to be a stringent policy in place that weeds out the substandard service some minibus operators are offering the commuting public. People cannot be made to feel like pigs in a sty when all they really need is a comfortable and risk-free ride for their money’s worth.

With the enforcement of any such rules, there will be the expected rancour from some offenders who might take offence that their vehicles are not quite up to par. However, some minibus drivers really need to take a closer look at the state of affairs of their business.

As is already the case, many minibus operators are now losing customers who prefer to stand in the rain and wait for another bus than to settle for anything less than their money’s worth. As to whether that makes great business sense is anyone’s guess.

1 Comment

  1. Perhaps we should have a grading system, to be displayed on the minibuses, that looks at cleanliness, comfort and roadworthiness ( and maybe on the attitude and driving ability of the driver?)

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