Letters to the Editor

JUTC's working on it

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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Dear Editor,

In response to the letter published in the Jamaica Observer on November 12, 2019, entitled 'Commuters need help', in which Tay C laments how intolerable it has become in accessing transportation, specifically route three, we would like to make a few observations.

The #3 bus which plies Christian Gardens to downtown, via Marcus Garvey Drive, is a high-density route which is given utmost priority. Ten buses are allocated in the morning and afternoon peak hours, with additional units depending on availability and demand. The challenge we face, however, stems from traffic congestion both in the morning and afternoon peak hours, which prevents proper rotation. As a result, it has become somewhat of a norm for supervisors to reroute buses from one route to another to meet the demand.

Taken a step further, the #3 bus would complete a cycle trip without traffic in two hours, but with more people acquiring their own vehicles, which add to the traffic congestion and our carbon footprint, it is taking upwards of three to three-and-a-half hours to complete a cycle trip. Moreover, in the afternoon, between the hours of 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, buses leaving the downtown Kingston hub are full to capacity. This, as most schools are closed and many people seek to head home out of the city.

The writer notes that she lives in Portmore and travels along Marcus Garvey Drive for work, but that in the evenings the wait is unbearable. This may be so for the purposes outlined above, as well as the fact that Marcus Garvey Drive is serviced by buses leaving our downtown hub.

We note the calls for additional units to be placed on the route; however, whereas we would like to do so, we cannot facilitate this request at this time as we have a finite number of buses. We will nonetheless continue to share units as the demand arises and continuously assess how we may improve our roll-out, including the option of sub-franchising.

Concerning the alleged neglect of drivers to pick up passengers, the managing director has instructed all managers to meet with their bus drivers across the operations of the company in short order to not only remind them of their duty, but also to caution them that such instances of disregard will not be tolerated.

We thank you for your support and hope this has been of some help.

Cecil Thoms

Corporate communications manager

Jamaica Urban Transit Company

St Catherine

cthoms@jutc.com.jm


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