THE EDITOR: On July 16 I had cause to visit Port of Spain. I left Chaguanas by maxi-taxi and decided to return by bus.
My main reason for using the bus was because my 19-year-old son accompanied me and I wanted him to have the bus experience and to develop confidence in state institutions. He is about to begin university.
We bought tickets and went to the Chaguanas bay at 10.45 am. A schedule on the electronic monitor said the next bus to Chaguanas would be on time at 11 am. No bus came at that time but with hope we continued to wait.
In the meantime we noticed that buses came to the other boarding bays and departed on time. The line of commuters for Chaguanas became long, about 40 people, of which almost 30 were elderly.
At 11.30 I went into an air-conditioned waiting area and told the woman behind the glass that the 11 o’clock bus did not show up. She simply shouted, “Next Chaguanas bus at 12 o’clock.” I repeated to her that the 11 am bus did not show up, hoping she might say “it’s coming now.” But she gave me the same shout-out. We left the PTSC compound.
Everyone knows that one strategy to solve the heavy traffic on our roads is to have an efficient public transport system. But we know there can be breakdowns.
Would it cost the PTSC too much for one of its employees to tell waiting commuters that the bus is down and to have a little patience?
Elderly people stood waiting in line until I told them of the delay. Many went for a seat at the risk of losing their spot in the line when a bus eventually came. A little chit could have been given to them to guarantee them a place on the next bus. But it was a complete no-show by PTSC officials.
I had a similar experience a few months ago when I tried to travel by bus from Port of Spain to Chaguanas. The bus came one hour late and dropped us off on the highway in Chaguanas.
Is there an effort to discriminate against people trying to commute to Chaguanas? How can we convince our young people that institutions of the State are efficient, friendly and should be trusted?
It would cost PTSC no money to have a different disposition to its customers. In fact, it would engender confidence and bring in much needed revenue to the company.