THE Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will today extend its services beyond normal operating hours to facilitate shoppers at this year's Jamaica Observer celebration of Fashion's Night Out.
In a full-page advertisement yesterday, the state-owned bus company said that the extended service will apply to routes within the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).
"In comparison to our normal operating hours up to 10:00 pm, the bus service will be extended to midnight on the main trunk routes across the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region, which includes the Corporate Area, Portmore, and Spanish Town," stated the advertisement.
A total of 14 buses are scheduled to traverse Portmore routes 3, 3A, 12A, 17, 17A, 20, 20A; while nine buses will operate on Spanish Town bus routes 21, 22, 32, 46, and 500. Nine buses will also traverse Rockfort routes 50, 78, 83, 98, 99, 900.
Corporate Communications Manager at JUTC, Reginald Allen, said the extension is a testament to the company's commitment to serve its customers.
"We have a mandate to serve the community's needs generally and this is a special event that will generate more traffic at any specific period... so we always try to relate to that, just like we relate to football on a Friday night," he said.
"Once there is a public event, or even a private event, that is going to generate a lot of public transportation needs, then we are responsible for public transportation within the KMTR," he said.
Allen said that the passengers will pay no additional costs for the extended service, and urged shoppers to co-operate with JUTC crew members serving them during the extended hours.
In the meantime, Senior Superintendent of Police Radcliffe Lewis, head of the Police Traffic Division, urged shoppers to utilise the service provided by the JUTC instead of driving their vehicles into the Corporate Area or to downtown Kingston, during shopping hours. Vehicles found to be obstructing traffic during the period will be towed, he said.
"I'm asking motorists not to park their cars on the sidewalks or to park in a manner that is likely to obstruct traffic. Because if the owners cannot be found, then the police will have to take possession of the cars," he said, noting that cars will be taken to the Traffic Headquarters on Elletson Road, the Constant Spring Police Station or any other police station where space is available.
Lewis also disclosed that additional officers will be deployed to help prevent congestion in the shopping districts.
"We are going to have police at all of the major intersections, and we are also going to use a lot of office personnel to assist us with traffic management and congestion. The same instructions will be given to the rural areas where [activities will take place]," he said.