'We are committed to raising standards'Monday, October 25, 2021
Kindly permit me to respond to a letter from Donald McKoy published in the Jamaica Observer on Thursday, October 21, 2021. In his missive he raised several questions about the management of the bus company, concerns about the wait time for buses, and customer service issues.
Firstly, I would like to apologise to McKoy on behalf of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) for the experience he had on one of our units. I wish to assure him and other commuters that we are committed to raising the standard of our service and would like to share a few of the initiatives being undertaken by the JUTC to enhance service delivery in an effort to improve customer satisfaction.
Over the last four years the JUTC has embarked on a number of measures aimed at improving our operational protocols. These include measures geared towards improving the predictability and cleanliness of our units. For example, as at the end of the second quarter for financial year (FY) 2021/2022, we were able to successfully digitise our road operations. This has allowed us to reduce wait times and add an element of accountability for the teams in the field. Though there have been significant improvements, the average commuter on some routes may not start to experience these improvements until FY 2022/2023.
McKoy complained about the so-called “dry-weather buses”, arguing that “there are times when some of the seats get wet after rainfall and no one cares enough to wipe up the water”. The JUTC would like to make it clear that, as a matter of course, we do not dispatch buses with wet seats or units that are leaking. Like other transit companies of similar size internationally, an aging fleet inextricably leads to scenarios as mentioned. Due to COVID-19, our international suppliers have been challenged to maintain a consistent supply of spare parts. Despite this, our maintenance workers continue to use their ingenuity to ensure that commuters have buses to go about their business.
In addition, leaks due to rainfall may also be attributable to road conditions, which may cause joints to separate during regular operations. When this happens, we identify the units and repair them.
However, sometimes these leaks develop after a bus is dispatched. With the onset of COVID-19 we have had to open some windows to allow the exchange of air in the units. This sometimes causes condensation and is one of the reasons for puddles on the seats. This usually happens midway the journey and the driver and dispatchers would not necessarily be made aware until a complaint is made. We are now in the process of implementing protocols aimed at arresting this problem.
We are serious about making the JUTC “your route to excellence”.
We have an interactive customer feedback system because we value you and want to hear from you. You are an important stakeholder and we want you to be at the core of our plans.
In an effort to improve service delivery, we have implemented the REPORT IT hotline (876-570-1789) for the public to inform us of issues concerning the JUTC and we can be reached via our social media platforms.
We continue our push to improve the levels of service to our commuters and are of the view that commuters will begin to feel the positive effects of these strategies in the not-too-distant future.