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Don’t stop the rapid rail

Published: 
Friday, April 17, 2015
CENTRE STAGE

Our traffic burden is becoming more and more problematic. We who journey along the east-west corridor daily, living in the east and working in the west, waste close to four hours in traffic. The rapid rail system as a component of our transportation policy will reduce the amount of vehicles on our roads during rush hour.

I was disappointed to read recent statements from transport Minister Stephen Cadiz as he spoke extensively about the cost of the rapid rail project and the process to install such a transportation system. 

“Rapid rail is a massive infrastructural project... I don’t care which international bank we go to... we could be doing a lot better things with that money.” These were some of the Minister’s comments which to me seems short-sighted, unresearched and inconsiderate. I would really like to know from him, the better things we could be doing with our money.

This maybe the view of Minister Cadiz because his personal experience travelling on the bus route is a luxury that very few citizens enjoy lawfully. The average hard-working, taxpaying citizen who has to drive to work and drop children to school, however, does so in pains and frustration due to the excessive amount of vehicles on the road.

The bus and maxi taxi transportation system has served us well in the past but as our country continues to develop, our needs are changing. An analysis of the opportunity cost involved in time lost, during traffic and the time value of hundreds of thousands of drivers stuck in traffic twice per day runs us in the millions daily. 

It doesn’t take any extraordinary intellect to see that a rapid rail system transporting 500 in a single cab or 1,000 in a double cab from the furthest points on the east-west corridor in 35 minutes is an investment in the productive capacity of your human capital. Reducing the stress levels of citizens as a result of sitting in traffic for hours, will ultimately lead to greater productivity at work, an improved standard of living and happier lifestyles. 

There are many other major benefits of the rapid rail system such as revenue generation and job creation. 

Minister, let’s consider the benefit to the taxpayers and put our money to good use so we can not only hear about development but see and experience it first-hand.

Ronald Huggins

St Joseph

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