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JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will be placing increased focus on its Revenue Protection Programme, which was implemented last August to reduce the number of persons travelling on the buses without paying fares.
The programme, which has resulted in more than 20 persons being prosecuted for attempting to ride without paying, ensures the security of passengers by providing them with tickets once they have paid their fares.
But with suspicions of an increase in fare dodging towards the end of the year, the bus company will be renewing its focus on the initiative this month.The JUTC has lauded the programme, noting that it brings more order to the service and impacts on the safety and security of crews and passengers. The lowest fine for non-payment of bus fare is approximately $10,000.
Meanwhile, the company is reporting that collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) during the last quarter of 2005 has resulted in the implementation of measures to increase the safety of passengers and crews.
Robberies on buses went down from 35 incidents in October to 16 in November and six in December. There was one particularly serious incident in December, involving the serious stabbing of one of its drivers, but that apart, the number of attacks on crews went down from 12 in November to six in December. Accidents also decreased, with the company sustaining slightly fewer accidents for the month of December over November.
The increased safety measures enabled the company to successfully operate its all-night service, the “Night Hawk” for three nights during the holiday period in December. On Christmas Eve, the Night Hawk carried nearly 5,000 passengers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., while on New Year’s Eve over 6,000 passengers were transported.
The company also provided special Smart Card charter services for hundreds of children on school outings to various attractions, such as the movies and Christmas parties, without incident.
Meanwhile, final preparations are also underway to reopen the Spanish Town Smart Card office in mid-January. The office, which was closed in late October due to security risks, is being made more secure and will offer more services for the travelling public including being a point-of-sale for the public sector discount programme and cards for the premium service.