Thursday, 01 February 2024 15:34

Six Months to improve JUTC: Vaz promises more buses and free rides in cashless system

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The Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport The Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will get a boost in it's servcie delivery in the next six (6) months.

That is according to Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunication and Transport; The Hon. Daryl Vaz who made the commitment during his presentation in the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister Vaz said that in the next twelve months the JUTC is to receive two hundred and nineteen (219) buses, of which one hundred and fourteen (114) are new and one hundred and five (105) refurbished.

He said as policy, he has directed that ten percent (10%) of all acquisition must be retrofitted to facilitate members of the disabled community 

The Minister said the Ministry is moving to modernize the service delivery of the JUTC and to incentivize the use of the JUTC Smart Card. He said that as of April 1st members of the public will be encouraged to use the JUTC Smart Card to travel and those who do will get a fifty percent (50%) discount off the bus fare, and commuters will get three (3) free rides on getting their smart card.

He said "the current fare collection system uses a limited cashless component, however this system is to be replaced by a comprehensive cashless system which will provide the requisite efficiency and revenue protection to cover the entire service and guard against difficulties posed by cash transactions., which he says will speed up the loading process and improve the efficiency of the service.

Minister Vaz says plans are underway to launch a user friendly Mobile App for commuters to be able to access information about routes, estimated arrival times and any service disruption. The app is expected to enable passengers to track their bus live, plan their journeys and receive notification and alerts regarding any changes and delay in service. This he says will be a huge help to the public.

The Minister spoke about improvement in security measures in the company. He said installation of facial recognition cameras on buses and centers will mitigate against criminal activities and assist in incident investigation in an effort to ensure passenger safety. He said the JUTC through it's Protection Department has partnered with Crime Stop through the Jamaica Constabulary Force to apprehend perpetrators who vandalize the buses.

Minister Vaz said that there will be improvements in some of the transit centers. He says centers such Downtown are need of coverings, railings, designated vending areas to prevent vendors from going into the loading area, railings to separate commuters from the buses and street lighting. Minister Vaz said that the conditions under which commuters have to be traveling are unacceptable. 

He has pledged to improve the services of the JUTC in six (6) months. He said "...we are going to see significant changes in the next six months we are going to the see a benefit to the commuters who will be able to have more reliable buses that will cut down the wait time."

Last modified on Thursday, 01 February 2024 16:30