JIS News

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  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says the management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is having a meeting with the drivers and their unions, so as to resume service as soon as possible.
  • This follows the withdrawal of service by the State-run bus company today (September 24), following the death of one of their workers and subsequent threats on the lives of drivers attached to the company.
  • In a Statement to the House of Representatives, Mr. Montague said there has been a withdrawal of service by the JUTC drivers.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says the management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is having a meeting with the drivers and their unions, so as to resume service as soon as possible.

This follows the withdrawal of service by the State-run bus company today (September 24), following the death of one of their workers and subsequent threats on the lives of drivers attached to the company.

In a Statement to the House of Representatives, Mr. Montague said there has been a withdrawal of service by the JUTC drivers.

“There was a confrontation between a taxi operator and a JUTC driver last night (September 23). The taxi operator was stabbed and pronounced dead at hospital. The JUTC driver has since turned himself in to the police.

Later on last night, a JUTC driver/mechanic, while working on a bus, was shot and, unfortunately, died,” he said.

The Minister said since then, many threats and rumours have been circulating, especially on social media, noting that, as a result, the JUTC drivers are in fear of their lives.

“We have had meetings with the unions, drivers, Ministry staff and the police. They have consulted with the police, who have established a presence at all depots and along the routes. This is to provide assurance to the taxi operators, JUTC drivers as well as the travelling public,” he said.

He said consultations have been held with various taxi associations in the Corporate Area. “They have assured of normal service by their members. We have briefed the Opposition Spokesman as well as other stakeholders,” he said.

The Minister urged citizens to remain calm and not to create panic. “We are asking persons not to create voice notes that seek to create panic and spread rumours. As we speak, the management of the JUTC is having a meeting with the drivers and their unions, so as to resume service as soon as it is humanly possible, but the constant rumours and allegations are not helping,” he said.

He expressed regret at the loss of lives of the two persons. “I cannot imagine the grief and the pain the families are going through at this time. Let us keep them in our prayers,” he said.

Mr. Montague said the police and others have deployed vehicles to assist stranded commuters in getting home.

“Many private motorists have rallied to the call to be their brothers and sisters and have been transporting strangers. We commend and thank them, as in these challenging times, our real and true spirit always comes to the fore,” he said.

The Minister appealed to all Jamaicans to be calm and lend a helping hand where they can. “We will continue to monitor and update the country with this unfolding situation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Spokesperson on Transport, Mikael Phillips, expressed condolences to the families of those killed, and urged the police to carry out their investigations in the matter.