Latest update March 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Feb 07, 2023 Letters
I saw an editorial in a newspaper recently addressing the atrocious culture of the minibus that we as a people have to face.
It is a culture that is despicable, reprehensible and not good for our country in the past, present, or ever in the future.
Most significantly, it is a culture that needs addressing urgently. I must admit that they are few minibuses that operate professionally and moreso when driven by their owners.
There is much history that is responsible for this madness that prevails which is relevant to this apparent, ’perpetual’ dysfunctional minibus culture. Please note the following:
1.b) The trains amazingly were sold to a British gentleman for ‘next to nothing’ who sold it subsequently to an African nation for 300 times the actual price that he paid the Guyana Government. It is known that wherever the British went, that for their convenience and by extension the convenience of the people they establish railway systems.
Unlike the system set by the government through the Guyana Transport Service. Where many were stealing parts, vehicles were being destroyed by negligence, lubricating oils were not being topped up properly (not frequent changes of oil) and engines were disappearing. Persons collecting the fares were stealing the cash! There was no form of electronic accountability for persons entering and leaving! In the case of the private operators they were handling their money and they knew exactly how to manage their personal affairs.
(b) I travelled in Europe and saw how train service helped in the development of the Holland economy, Germany, Switzerland, etc. In Germany the service is free of charge to the people to encourage the non use of petroleum base motor vehicles. Many citizens in Germany and Holland use mostly bicycles and each family has several bicycles to one person: one for comfort, one for speed, one for work. All these countries also have most reliable public bus transport service.
My recommendation as I stated above is for the Government to start looking at rail service. To start looking at luxury bus service in which individuals could be invited to provide such a service and not a bus service that is owned and controlled by the government. That will create its own logistical issues with maintenance, mechanics, dishonesty in fee collection, thievery of parts etc. But must be a service that is supervised by an aggressive government entity such as the TLC Inspectorate System in New York. These luxury buses would be air conditioned, have educational shows, movies, yoga, patriotic and civic motivational talks etc. No smoking, no vulgarity, no lewdness, no raising of voices, no indecent music on these buses. The mini bus drivers could be trained to become proper bus drivers. But there will always be work in Guyana for those who do not want to get involved in the bus business. The culture has to change through education, uniformity and discipline.
This kind of bus and train environment would be good for the youths travelling to and from school. Persons would be able to relax in comfortable seats with a recliner as they travel long distances. Short term buses will cater for short distance travels. In reference to the points raise about the trains above, in Holland and Germany, there is an electric train service that operates around the city.
For a very small fee in Holland and other States persons can access this train for an entire spin around the city. As I have said above in Germany that train service is free around the city. Such a Train and Bus Transport Service that I have suggested here, will give people a chance to save money and to travel in comfort. This service could be provided by the Government of Guyana through the wealth being garnered by the resources owned by the people of Guyana for the people of Guyana. The safety and comfort of the passengers must be the most important consideration in these transit services.
Hajji Dr. Roshan Khan
The man who likes to shift blame!! | A message from Glenn Lall.
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