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JLP renews call for JUTC chairman, managing director to go

Wednesday, September 03, 2014    

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OPPOSITION Spokesman on Transport and Infrastructure Development Dr Horace Chang has raised fresh concerns about operations at the State-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), this time in relation to the roll out of its smarter card system.

Dr Chang charged that over the past week the JUTC has further exposed the incompetence of its management, and that Jamaican commuters are paying the price.

"Apart from the fundamental insensitivity of the fare increases, they bungled the implementation [of new fares] for seniors, showing that they really had not planned properly for the increase and that there was no need to rush. Now these additional problems at the start of the school term show that those in charge of the JUTC are truly incompetent and continue to bungle the affairs of the company," Chang said in a statement.

Dr Chang said that despite the amnesty announced for the first day of the new school year, a number of challenges have arisen.

"It has come to my attention that not only have there been unbearably long wait times for persons to obtain their cards, but students are having a difficult time acquiring smarter cards at the distribution centres. What I find most disturbing, however, are the reports I have received of children being turned away, embarrassed or otherwise inconvenienced by JUTC drivers because they do not have their smarter cards."

"If these reports are true, the actions of the drivers are disgraceful and require the managers and supervisors to take action. It also means that there is a serious problem in the internal communications and operations of the JUTC.

"It is unfortunate that our children, their parents and other passengers are the ones suffering because of the mismanagement at the JUTC. Jamaicans have suffered enough. It is time for the chairman, Mr Garnett Roper, and Managing Director Mr Colin Campbell to resign or be fired as the company keeps stumbling from one crisis to another."

Dr Chang has also called on the company to investigate reports of children being denied access to JUTC buses by its drivers.

"How could a driver, on a day when the JUTC's amnesty for students not in possession of their Smarter Cards (takes effect), should in effect be turning away students?"

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