There is a need for better public transportation

Dear Editor,

Transportation is fundamental for the development of the economy of any country. In developed and some developing nations, millions have access to reliable and efficient travel by autobus, railway, ferry, cars and other means.

Guyana, a large country with a relatively small population, defies the law of averages and is a paradox. Unfortunately we scrapped our railway system, abandoned the use of a well-regulated city bus system ‒ the large yellow motor transport ‒ as well as discontinued the Georgetown to Vreed-en-Hoop ferry service. The minibus or van succeeded the regular bus service and some of the operators deserve kudos because they respect and obey the traffic laws. However, the majority of minibuses create a nightmare with their bizarre actions: speeding, playing loud vulgar music, overcrowding, beating the traffic lights and operating without a conductor. As a matter of fact these small buses are inadequate for the commuters at rush hour, going to or from work. Hence we see them resorting to overcharging and overloading ‒ very dangerous and unethical practices. Obviously large buses should be urged to return to the roads.

In conclusion, Guyanese in the diaspora would verify that in the USA, Canada, and Britain and perhaps the Caribbean, transport is usually reliable to the point of using it to reach work punctually. There needs to be a well-regulated bus and ferry service. The Demerara River should be dredged to have the ferry service resumed. Travelling in the small speedboats is hazardous and uncomfortable. The roads need to be in better condition. The traffic department should be enlarged so that policemen can deal with speeding and drunken drivers. The laws should be revised to deal with blatant traffic offenders.

Yours faithfully,
Malcolm Maynard

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