JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) commuters can now readily access information on the entity’s bus routes, schedules, and fares, by utilising its newly developed Google Transit technology application (app).
  • Available through the Google Maps platform, the app can be accessed by smart phone, tablet, and computer.
  • It will also enable the JUTC’s management and commuting public to track the location of buses, while they are in operation.

Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) commuters can now readily access information on the entity’s bus routes, schedules, and fares, by utilising its newly developed Google Transit technology application (app).

Available through the Google Maps platform, the app can be accessed by smart phone, tablet, and computer.

It will also enable the JUTC’s management and commuting public to track the location of buses, while they are in operation.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works, and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, who launched the app during a ceremony at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre, St. Andrew, today (August 25), said “it will undoubtedly, generate positive changes in the operations of the (JUTC).”

He said the implementation of Google Transit will assist in addressing the unreliable bus schedule on various routes, and many other issues.

The application, the first such to be introduced in the Caribbean, is a joint initiative between the JUTC and the Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and was developed by third year student, Oswald Smith.

Dr. Guy, in commending the young technology innovator, said it is imperative that “we encourage our young people to be game changers, as they represent not just the future, but also the present.”

 

“The fact that Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to provide ground transportation information to the world using Google Transit makes me proud to know that, as a country, we continue to lead in sectors in the region, and internationally,” he added.

In his remarks, JUTC Managing Director, Colin Campbell, said the Google Transit application is consistent with the management’s decision, made at the start of the year, “that our focus would be on our customers…and that we would try to improve (the) customer service and JUTC experience in every single way.”

“We have spent some amount of resources improving our customer service points all over the city.  But, perhaps, there is none (as) special as bringing our passengers in touch with our service through the use of information technology,” he stated.

For his part, JUTC Chairman, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper, welcomed the partnership forged with the UWI, adding that “I am happy for young people, like Mr. Smith, who are creative.”

UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor and Mona Campus Principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, also hailed Mr. Smith, noting that by developing the technology, he has “aided in revolutionising the way Jamaicans travel and interact with the transport system”.

“(His) work in introducing Google Transit to Jamaica will definitely aid in enhancing the commuting experience for us all, taking (us) one step closer to enjoying a better technologically advanced future,” Professor McDonald added.

Head of the Department of Computing, Dr. Ezra Mugisa, said the institution is “pleased and, indeed, very proud to be contributing to the process of improving public transport, especially through the use of technology.”

 

Mr. Smith, who demonstrated the application to the persons attending the ceremony, indicated that its development “has been a journey, two years in the making”, and expressed gratitude to the JUTC for accommodating the initiative.”