News

Man held in latest attack on JUTC buses

Kimmo Matthews

Tuesday, April 08, 2014    

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THE police yesterday arrested a man and are searching for another suspected to be the mastermind behind yesterday's series of attacks on several Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses in sections of the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), which have caused more than $1 million in losses.

Managing director of the State-owned bus company Colin Campbell said that the attacks were carried out between 7:00 am and 8:00 am and involved buses that were deployed from the Spanish Town depot in St Catherine. He said the buses were stoned and burning tyres were used to block their path.

He said the first incident took place along Conway and Duhaney drives in Kingston 20, where one bus was disabled by men who opened the engine compartment.

"The other incident took place on the same route on another bus numbered 1590, which travelled the 32 route; the radiator hose was cut," Campbell disclosed at a hastily arranged press conference at the bus company's corporate offices in Twickenham Park, St Catherine.

"JUTC 1571 caught fire in the engine compartment and it is theorised that the bus was set on fire... a number of JUTC units were stoned along Spanish Town Road, buses travelling along the routes 22, 22a, 31, 32a," Campbell added.

In another incident, men travelling in a bus mounted roadblocks with burning tyres and stones in the bus lane along busy Washington Boulevard.

Campbell theorised that the attacks were orchestrated by individuals opposed to the bus company's move to reclaim KMTR routes held by sub-franchise operators. He said the police have promised to increase their presence on JUTC routes to ensure that "order is maintained".

Meanwhile, Radcliffe Lewis, the retired senior police superintendent who now heads JUTC's Franchise Protection Department, said that the bus company will be tightening its monitoring of sub-franchised routes to ensure that rules are being followed.

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