Here is another story about two old ladies. One of them was walking along a road on a blazing hot afternoon. Think of her as your grandmother or even your own parent. She was in her eighties, hunched because of her age and could not walk very fast or very far. She was lost on a road just outside the middle of the city. All the traffic went one way, out of the city. Granny wanted to go to the middle of the city but could see no buses going that way. All of them went in the opposite direction. Feeling confused, she stopped a passer-by and enquired how she could get a bus going towards the city; she could only afford to travel on a bus.
The passer-by sadly shook his head and told her she had to cross the wide busy main road and go down another almost equally busy side road to get to the other main road, which was a two way road and where she could get a bus to ‘town’. Totally disappointed and quite afraid of the fast-moving traffic, as she could not move very fast, Granny thanked him for the information and resigned herself to taking the risk of crossing the busy road and walking the long distance in the burning heat.
The other old lady was waiting at a bus stop. She waited and waited for a bus going on the Hillside route. None appeared. Eventually, she turned to a fellow commuter waiting there and enquired if the Hillside bus came along that road to which the other commuter said there were no more Hillside buses. The Hillside routes are not served as they are deemed to be not lucrative enough by the present generation of “private” us operators. So she wondered what to do since she could not sensibly get home without a long trudge from the main road up the hill.
Has it come to this? Where the old, the weak and disabled members of our island society are be ‘imprisoned’ in their homes because they are unable to get a public bus? Are the poorer and weaker members of our society forgotten by the rich and powerful that do not even use the public transport? Does the government care that the poor and weak are treated like beggars and ultimately lepers, isolated because they have been forgotten by the state and society? There seems no good reason for their neglect by the authorities who had catered for the public only 30 years ago by running fairly efficient and affordable state-owned public transport.