NASSAU| Dozens of jitney passengers were left stranded on the streets of New Providence today after police officers kicked them off and ordered jitney drivers to park their buses or get arrested.
It turns out, public transportation is prohibited in the new Emergency Orders released by the Competent Authority last night.
This new restriction blindsided jitney drivers and their passengers.
“No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any public transportation bus,” according to Emergency Powers (COVID 19 PANDEMIC) (NO. 3) ORDER 2020.
“The police just stop all buses, took all the passengers and now we are off the road again for one month,” said a jitney driver.
“So those of y’all depending on the bus today, there will be no buses. We are off the road for one month,” he continued.
The public transportation industry has taken a beating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jitney drivers were off the road for three months due to social distancing protocols. When they were finally allowed to resume public transportation services earlier this month, jitney drivers were told they were limited to 50 percent capacity, which caused a huge dip in profits. They petitioned the government for a bus fare increase but that request was denied.
Bus drivers lamented the lack of notice and questioned how are they to support their families if they can’t make a living.
Passengers expressed outrage on social media, “The Competent Authority is the ’emotional authority’. They react on emotions rather than thinking and planning and cause and effect. Get it together.”