Day before yesterday, I was at Thaajuddeen School to attend my daughter’s Parent Teacher Meeting. After the meeting, I brought her to the ferry terminal and called her mother to fetch her from the Villingili ferry terminal.
After the ferry left, I tried to get a taxi to come back to the STO Trade Centre. I struggled with quite a few others including several school children who were waiting to catch a cab to go to school in the scorching sun.
Taxis are not regular and reliable as would have been experienced by any frequent traveller from Hulhumale, Hulhule or Villingili to Male’. They are the only means of transport available to those who are not fortunate enough to own a car or a motorcycle. Taxi availability depends on the drivers’ mood, whether their children are going to school that day, whether there was a riot which they have to be up for, rain, and so many other things.
The relevant government authorities will tell us that this cannot be done because the roads of Male’ are too congested. But the funny thing is, there is more than enough room for several hundred mortobikes and cars every month. When a bus service is to be given to the public, the congestion comes in.
And the taxi drivers will protest! Is it the welfare of the taxi drivers or the greater welfare of the general public that the authorities are interested in. The thing is that the people who have to make these decisions are not faced with the consquences of the neglect or the delays (in years) in decisions that affect the public.
Even if not a formal public transport system, a school-bus service would solve several social issues that we are faced with now. Firstly, the cost of transport to school by children will be less, children going to school in the rain and in the scorching sun will be saved from the related health issues, less school children roaming the streets, several parents would not have to skip work everyday to take and fetch children from school.
If the people who ran the government were the ordinary folk, they would have dealt with issues that were important for the ordinary folk. But the fthing is, that in Maldives the government is run by people who could care less about the general public.