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Taxi 'injustice'

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dear Editor,

The other day I took a taxi and I disembarked grossly enraged by the end of my journey.

It was a Sunday afternoon and, in addition to myself, there were three school-aged girls and an adult female in the car.

We were heading to Old Harbour Road, but before the driver left the taxi park one of the girls got a call on her cellphone with the person on the other end of the line asking her to come off the taxi and remain in Spanish Town. When she proceeded to get out of the car the driver demanded that she still had to pay her fare.

In utter shock I demanded an explanation for his strange request.

He was adamant that, according to the 'policy', once a passenger gets into the taxi while it's being loaded, he/she has to pay the fare, no matter where or when they get off.

Of course, he couldn't say where this policy existed for a commuter like myself to see it.

Sure that he would not impose this injustice on an adult, I proceeded to report him to his taxi association, because “duppy know who fi frighten”.

This is just one example of the injustice our children face on the roads daily. I can't count how many times bus and taxi drivers would refuse to transport me when I was in high school because I was paying what they called 'half fare'. I'm almost sure this discriminatory policy continues to this day. And no one speaks up for these children. But any time you see a child in school uniform 'roaming' the streets after dark, listen out how many adults are quick to comment, “Why that rude child don't go home?”

And could anyone explain to me why children are allowed to pay the 'student fare' only when they are going to school? Aren't they students, even out of their uniforms?

Time come for someone to speak up for our children on the roads. Too many of us adults only care about our own children. One day they too may face this blatant injustice. Will you wait till then to speak up?


Stevian Simmonds