On any given day, heading south from the north, it is not unusual to encounter a stream of molasses-heavy traffic close to the Rodney Bay area. Accident? Masses of curious onlookers? Rain? Nope. Just another bus driver doing what he does best.
Public transportation has become the bane of my existence. Is there an institution that specializes in fine tuning ignorance? A former co-worker once confessed he would rather his daughter dated a drug dealer than a bus driver. A little extreme? Maybe. But having experienced their patented brand of tomfoolery, I am inclined to agree with my former colleague.
Of course, to every rule there are exceptions. I have had the rare pleasure of meeting some well-bred, classy gentlemen on my route. Sadly, that generation appears to be facing extinction and an effort needs to be made to preserve their fine manners. Quickly.
It’s almost as if they are operating from a special manual, tailor-made to piss you off. When boarding a bus, all I’m expecting is to get to my destination, safely. However, most of the time I feel like a passenger in a Formula One race car, hanging on for dear life, desperately praying for a pit stop. When will our drivers realize our highways are more comparable to Grass Street than a German autobahn? And even at these warp speeds they will suddenly come to a screeching halt, anywhere, to pick up another dollar on two legs.
Stopping the bus can also present a challenge over the amped sound system that literally sends bass vibrations reverberating through one’s body. After experiencing chest palpitations, and being deposited well away from your intended drop-off point, are you met with a contrite, apologetic driver? Surely, you jest. Instead, indignation is the order of the day, along with an infuriating word of advice: Next time speak louder, my girl.
Well, let me bestow my own words of wisdom to the unaware: the bus stop opposite the Rodney Bay Mall is not the designated Gros-Islet bus stop. It is not intended for parking your vehicle and waiting for one or two people trickling out of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Why has law enforcement not put an end to this traffic-inducing situation?
Or maybe I should just be grateful they have chosen to pull off the road to play the waiting game, rather than stopping in the middle of the road startling the unsuspecting driver unfortunate enough to be stuck behind them.
But what really irks me is the continuous game of musical bus fare. On any given day you might just find one or two quarters added on to the regular price that you paid just a couple of days before. Outrageous!
It’s kind of a necessary evil at this point. As small as is St Lucia, every day can’t be the Pinehill Funwalk. But instead of lobbying for higher bus fares and government subsidies,
how about treating the passengers with a respect, for a change? After all, they are the hands that feed you. Not for biting!
And for crissake, will you turn down the music!