As an elderly person, it seems that our society suffers from intransigence in dealing with serious social issues. There appears to be a consensus among many senior citizens that no genuine improvement will occur in their lifetimes, and it is hoped that the future generation will see better times.
Let us single out one issue which, though basic, has not yet been settled. Transportation is of utmost importance in any society. Efficient means of moving people and goods is needed to power the engine of economic development.
In the colonial days there was the railway system, large buses and ferries. Since independence these aspects of transport have been eliminated or scaled down. The present population is larger than the one in the colonial era, but insignificant when compared with many other societies.
Scores of letters have been written criticizing the poor performance of minibuses and advocating the re-introduction of large buses. This matter is always under consideration but little progress has been made.
Government officials should be made to experience the nightmare of catching transportation especially during rush hours, on Sundays and holidays or at night. Let the minibuses
continue to operate but large buses are also necessary.
In the metropolitan countries such as Britain, Canada, the USA where large populations of Guyanese live, there is reliable transport to take people to work on time. Why can’t this happen in Guyana?
Recently in the media there was a complaint that minibuses were bypassing students because they were not receiving the full fare, which is arbitrary. A case was made to have school buses available. That is a good idea. However, many students linger on the road for the ‘boom boom’ instead of the ‘corkball’ buses. They love the loud, vulgar music. Our law enforcement agencies should be rigid in upholding the rule of law pertaining to traffic offences.
Finally if Guyanese are very concerned about the transport dilemma, I think they should avoid attending functions like Mashramani because on many occasions like this, people remain stranded on the road. Let us hope we see a marked improvement in the proper regulation of transportation.