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JIS News

As the Government seeks to improve and rebrand the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), commuters are being asked to exercise care and control as they travel on the buses.
Keith Chamberlin, Vice President of Operations and Employee and Public Relations told JIS News that although there has been a reduction in assaults against workers on the buses, the company still had to deal with a range of abuses from commuters.
“There are a wide range of abuses, sometimes physical or verbal, but they have been reduced generally, due to police intervention. They are not as widespread but they continue to be a problem for us,” he said. Gwyneth Harold, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations for the JUTC explained that the workers faced excess pressures from commuters travelling on the Portmore and St. Catherine routes. “We are having the most trouble with commuters who ply the Old Braeton, Waterford and Passagefort routes in Portmore,” she informed.
The assaults are sometimes very serious and Miss Harold pointed out that for the month of January, two very serious cases were reported, while one was reported in February. The responses of the workers are sometimes costly to the company, with Miss Harold noting that the repercussions affect both the company and commuters.
“We ask the workers to keep calm and collected but when abuses occur, sometimes they act to protect each other and may pull the buses off the road in protest,” Mr. Chamberlin said.
The Vice President said that pulling the buses off the road could result in a loss of revenue for the JUTC and major inconvenience for the commuters, and that these problems could be avoided if commuters exercised control when travelling on the buses. “The abuses, injuries, medical expenses and taking the buses off the road demoralize the staff,” he noted.
Mr. Chamberlin emphasised that the company was putting measures in place to stamp out the abuses against their workers. “We’re trying to introduce and expand the use of undercover security on the buses and if there are abuses, then action can be taken immediately,” the Vice President informed.
“We’re here to provide a service and we ask the commuters to understand that as taxpayers, their money will be used to repair the damages,” he added.