Infrastructure works now underway at sections of downtown Kingston, should be completed within another 10 weeks, to ensure that the transportation system, implemented on January 15, is 100 per cent operational.
Speaking on Tuesday February 1 at a JIS Think Tank, General Manager of Operations at the Transport Authority (TA), Cecil Morgan, said that the new system is about 75 per cent operational, but should be functioning at its optimum once the works, being undertaken by the National Works Agency (NWA), are finished.
The scope of work to be concluded within the 10-week window includes the construction of bus bays in the Pechon Street facility and the installation of proper signage in the Parade area. The NWA is also conducting renovation works at Parade to be completed within the same period. Closed circuit cameras are also to be installed at strategic points.
“Lighting in the Parade area is also critical and the UDC (Urban Development Corporation) and the KSAC (Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation) are working with the JPS (Jamaica Public Service) to address those issues, so within approximately 10 weeks, we would expect most if not all that work to be done,” Mr. Morgan told JIS News.
Work is also to continue on the Transport Authority and police posts at the Pechon Street facility in the coming weeks. “The surface has already been addressed, just awaiting signs and proper lighting,” Mr. Morgan informed.
Commenting on the ongoing improvements, Director of Corporate Communications at the UDC, Lorna Clarke said that the agency is “quite pleased” with efforts being made to ensure the system is fully functional and responsive to the needs of commuters.
She lauded the multi-agency approach that is being taken in the implementation of the system, noting that this has enabled swift responses to the concerns of the various stakeholder groups.
Miss Clarke noted that the UDC continues to facilitate weekly meetings of all the stakeholders, which includes the KSAC, the Transport Authority, the police, and the NWA.
“What we want to be able to do is, once the feedback comes in from the public, from the commuters, we can, as a multi-agency team, look at what the suggestions are and see how they can be implemented. This is why we have been responsive and why the system continues to improve,” she stated.
She informed that the team has embarked on a major communication programme “to ensure that persons are informed every step of the way”.
The Transport Authority has activated its toll free line to facililate feedback from the public. Persons with concerns or suggestions are encouraged to call the Transport Authority, toll free at 1-888-991-5687.
The new transportation system was officially commissioned into operation on Saturday, January 15, by Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding.
CONTACT: LATOYA PENNANT