While there remain intense discussions and protests about the fairness of JUTC fare increases, residents of rural Jamaica, where I am from, are still facing exorbitant costs for and poor delivery of public transportation. Between 2006 and 2010, while still in high school, my fare would have gone up by close to 100%- the currently irate politicians seemed to have been suffering a temporary case of aphonia then.

I cannot help but question the motives of those who remain silent on the plights of the rural folk while there are big hullabaloos when issues of urban importance are brought up. Maybe the increases that came to rural folk did not come close enough to an election but I will dispel that view as I continue to try to believe that there is something genuine about the current protests- I don’t think I’ll reach that point but it’s only fair to try!

For a student to get from Pennants, Clarendon to Glenmuir High or Denbigh High, he/she will be forced to fork out about $150 each way (grand total of $300 for one day). For an adult to get to the May Pen Hospital from the same location it will be approximately $600 for the round trip. Not only are the fares higher, but the service in many cases can’t even be depended on. So not only do we have to pay way more than those in the urban areas; we also have to be up way earlier to get transportation and wait way longer to get something to head back home!

My people in the rural area are suffering too but who will stand up for them? Where has the opposition been all along? Locked up waiting for the issues close to election? Aren’t rural residents contributors to the JUTC subsidy for urban people? Are we to be convinced to play the fool and join you protest?

It is a total disrespect to the rural people for individuals in powerful posts, who should be representing all people, to act as though the issues facing the JUTC is the only major issue facing people who have to commute via public transportation.

I am disheartened and disgusted by the neglect of my rural folk and as such, I am calling on both the irate opposition and the government to sit down and examine their plight too. Our rural residents aren’t wallowing in immense wealth as the selfish protests would suggest. The majority of the constituencies remain outside the urban areas and the neglect between the 5 years must end and the process to end such must be hastened. We are active contributors to this country as is any one person from the urban area.

Country people time now!!!

  -El Comandante-

Rural People Defender


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