Montego Bay Metro – The Way to Travel in the West

Photo: Marlon Tingling Chairman of the Board of Management at the Montego Bay Metro bus company, Robin Russell.

Story Highlights

  • The Management of Montego Bay Metro bus company is on a mission to ensure that it becomes the transportation of choice for citizens in St. James as well as the adjoining parishes of Hanover and Trelawny.
  • With 18, 46-seater Volvo buses and a staff complement of more than 50, inclusive of five female drivers, the bus company runs a tight ship, operating from 5:00 a.m. to midnight Mondays to Saturdays.
  • Montego Bay Metro was set up in 1997 as a private entity to offer a dedicated school-bus service from Montego Bay to Cambridge, Adelphi and Goodwill in St. James; Falmouth and Wakefield in Trelawny; and Sandy Bay in Hanover.

The Management of Montego Bay Metro bus company is on a mission to ensure that it becomes the transportation of choice for citizens in St. James as well as the adjoining parishes of Hanover and Trelawny.

With 18, 46-seater Volvo buses and a staff complement of more than 50, inclusive of five female drivers, the bus company runs a tight ship, operating from 5:00 a.m. to midnight Mondays to Saturdays.

Chairman of Montego Bay Metro, Robin Russell, tells JIS News that despite having an aged fleet, the service provided by the bus company continues to be efficient and professional, catering to citizens of all sectors from the three western parishes.

He notes, however, that the company needs new units in order to ensure that it can continue to deliver safe and quality service to the commuting public, including school children, who make up a large part of its operations.

“Part of what we are looking at right now is to see if we can purchase the buses ourselves and allow them to pay for themselves without going into Government coffers. We are exploring different revenue streams, such as increasing our charter service,” he says.

Other earning options being looked at include offering a Sunday service and expanding operations to underserved areas.

“There are many routes that need the lift that we carry. Our buses carry a lot more people. Our Falmouth and Wakefield routes are still not fully utilised. I think MoBay needs easily another 10 buses,” he points out.

As the company awaits the acquisition of new units, a partnership has been forged with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) for the sourcing of spare parts.

“They are going to assist us in purchasing spare parts from them or utilising spare parts they have in excess,” Mr. Russell tells JIS News.

Acting General Manager of Montego Bay Metro, Calvin Samuels, says the company has a good reputation, which he credits to its ongoing customer-service programme.

He explains that employees have bought into the company’s philosophy of offering quality and professional service and have been making positive contributions to its development.
Human Resources Manager, Kay Francis, tells JIS News that Montego Bay Metro is known as a people-friendly company, and employees are required to always display the highest level of professionalism.

“It is a growing company, and it is one of the best. This is the public-transportation sector for the western region, and we are known by the public as the best and safest public-transportation company in the west,” she says.

“We are aspiring to be the transportation of choice by ensuring that our employees offer the best customer service, have the best skill sets, and are the most knowledgeable. We are professional, and we ask our staff members to be ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen,” Ms. Francis adds.

Employees at Montego Bay Metro are very proud about the role that they have been playing in the development of the bus company.

Denice Walters, who is one of the five female drivers, tells JIS News that she feels pleased to be at the wheel and delivering courteous, professional service to passengers.

“You cannot explain how it feels. They (the passengers) like seeing us females, and they say when they see us they feel proud. When I started 18 years ago, there was only one female driver, and I came from being a conductress to being a driver, so I am proud of the role I have been playing at Montego Bay Metro,” Ms. Walters says.

Another female driver, Taneisha Johnson, who has been with the company for six months, says that despite the challenges of heavy traffic and the occasional uncooperative passenger, she has been enjoying her stint at Montego Bay Metro.

“My passengers are awesome. The male passengers, they will sit behind me and they are totally in awe of how I handle this very big unit. We have good communication. I know when they travel, and they are always looking out for me,” she points out.

Montego Bay Metro was set up in 1997 as a private entity to offer a dedicated school-bus service from Montego Bay to Cambridge, Adelphi and Goodwill in St. James; Falmouth and Wakefield in Trelawny; and Sandy Bay in Hanover.

In 2000, a municipal bus service was introduced.

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