KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) will roll out a new schedule for the student train service on March 7 to coincide with the full resumption of face-to-face classes.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Transport and Mining on Saturday, the revised schedule for both Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and train service is a result of findings from a study of the first phase of the pilot which began in January this year.
The findings revealed that the original schedule was restrictive based on the early departure time and in instances, excluded the target group from utilising the service.
The ministry said that in consultation with the JRC, the JUTC and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, it therefore revised the schedule for the service in order to make it more accommodating to the targeted members of the commuting public.
The ministry said the School Train Service will continue to operate on two segments of the existing rail network in the parish of St Catherine as it provides safe and cost-effective transport for school children who depend on the public transport system.
It also transports students from Old Harbour and Linstead to Spanish Town, where they are transported to their respective schools via JUTC buses.
Under the new schedule, the Old Harbour train departs the station at 6:40 am, arriving in Spanish Town at 7:12 am, with stops in Bushy Park and Hartlands in between.
In the afternoon, it leaves Spanish Town at 4:10 pm and arrives in Old Harbour at 4:45 pm. As for the Linstead train, it departs Charlemont at 6:25 am, making stops in Linstead and Bog Walk, before arriving in Spanish Town at 7:15 am.
In the afternoon, it leaves the Spanish Town station at 3:55 pm, making stops in Bog Walk, Linstead and Charlemont before returning to Linstead at 4:55 pm.
The ministry said students are to arrive at the respective train stations at least 15 minutes before departure.
The “Back on Track” initiative is a partnership among the Ministry of Transport and Mining; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the Jamaica Railway Corporation; the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The schools that will benefit from the service include Jonathan Grant High, St Jago High, Jose Marti High, and St Catherine High.