So I experienced a new first using public transportation in Jamaica. As I mentioned in an earlier post, public transportation here is very cheap and abundant. So abundant that I’m pretty sure 4 out of 5 cars in Port Antonio are taxis.
Last week I had the need to ride a coaster bus (see pictures below.) What is noteworthy is that without exception, the buses are packed beyond capacity. A typical coaster bus will “seat” 29 people. However, a typical bus driver will allow 35 or more people to ride the bus. There are about 5 rows in the back of the bus that seat 4 people across but almost always a 5th person is squeezed into a row so it now holds 25 people. Then there are 2-3 shorter rows that contain 3-4 people. Finally, there are 2 seats up front for passenger use.
The people outside the bus were standing (on I don’t know what) and were pressed against the bus with their arms extended inside the windows and hanging on to the door.
What’s so amazing about this is rarely do the passengers comment or complain about being overcrowded. For the most part, it is accepted that the bus drivers are trying to make as much money as they can and well, “God bless them.”