Having traversed over 90% of the major and intermediate roads in this country, including the hinterland over the years, I have grown accustomed to the rude, disrespectful and uncouth manner in which passengers are treated when there is no alternative to the minibuses.
Some minibus drivers feel that they are high and mighty and passengers must tow the line of their authority. They overload their buses, blast their music at deafening decibel levels, and choose their passengers. When reports are made to the police and action is taken, the passengers are targeted and are oftentimes left stranded. This is the drivers’ way of getting back to maintain their status quo.
Some drivers move off before passengers are properly seated, whereas others show no regard for pedestrian crossings. Where are we going? Stricter enforcement of the law is urgently required. With the road carnage on the increase solutions to the above-mentioned issues would help to remedy the prevalence of speeding (passengers are ignored when requests are made to drivers to go light on the speedometer).
On numerous occasions the ride on some of these buses is particularly bad, and is rougher than travelling from Mabura to Kurupukari when that trail is at its worst. Are some of these vehicles even roadworthy?
I am of the opinion that those in the passenger transportation sector should be given regular training on customer service, and minibus driver licences should only be renewed after the holders have undergone training in courtesy and providing a service.
There are many committed drivers who take the passengers’ interest as a serious matter, and are courteous and helpful, but within their midst are a few who feel that for a few dollars more life doesn’t mean anything. The police on the West Demerara have a lot of work to do.
Lastly, the various minibus associations and bodies should not only advocate for price increases when the fuel prices shoot up, but have regular discussions with those they represent on the services they provide and ways to improve same.