Bernard Lodge transportation needs totally ignored, says JATOO

Bernard Lodge transportation needs totally ignored, says JATOO

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —  Public transportation group, Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) is charging that the government has “totally ignored” the transportation needs of the estimated 100,000 new residents of the proposed Bernard Lodge housing development in St Catherine.

According to JATOO, this will result in transportation chaos in the new township as transport operators will then be “demonised for disobeying the rules [when] there are no rules as none was put in place by the regulators and planners”.

“We believe that the area to be developed should be identified and made public. This was done for Portmore development in the 1960's. This publicity will alert the residents in the area and adjoining communities of planned changes to their environment. Keeping the development area a secret is tantamount to encouraging those with the knowledge of the plans to sell that information to their friends and family. This is the essence of corruption,” JATOO said in a statement.

“This we see as a 'launching pad' for the corrupt granting of transportation licenses and other benefits to Jamaicans,” the group added.

“We are questioning the procedure to grant permits for supplying transportation seats. Recently, People's National Party Chairman, Fitz Jackson gave a description of the area. Based on his description, it seems as if the old train line runs through the entire development. As transportation needs are concerned, and because there is no transportation plan, we ask, will the train service be revived for this area?

JATOO argued that the present train line runs from Kingston through Gregory Park (Portmore), the new development (Grange Lane/Lakes Pen), Spanish Town on to Old Harbour and the Bog Walk, Linstead area.

“This is less than one hour by, train, bus or car. Is this an extension of the dormitory community for Kingston? Where is the transportation plan for this? This has many transportation investment implications,” the group charged.

JATOO said that if there is a plan or a consideration of reviving the train service, then private transport investors should be told so they can prepare.

“But in case the train service will not be revived and we are needed, then it must be told to us now, when we can organise the appropriate investment and the necessary infrastructure and regulations.  This must be done now at the development planning stage so that the transport chaos will be averted,” the group stated.


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