JIS News

Acting Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Paul Abrahams, says the company is reviewing its cashless fare collection system for possible implementation throughout the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).
Mr. Abrahams said that the new system was introduced by VDL, one of the entities comprising the Jonckheere Bus and Coach N.V. Group, which is providing some 200 new buses for the JUTC to be financed by two loans, totalling Euro 67.5 million (J$8.6 billion), from a Commercial Bank of Belgium-led consortium.
He said that, if implemented, the cashless system will go a far way in providing more convenience for commuters and JUTC staff.
“The fare collection system that we have at this present time is on its last leg and, in the thrust to simplify fares collection, we are going cashless,” he said.
However, he pointed out that there is a process that the company has to go through.
“VDL has presented to us a system that we are looking at… it creates convenience for the commuting public,” he explained.
Mr. Abrahams said the system’s feasibility is being investigated and an appraisal prepared for presentation to the JUTC’s Board of Directors for review. He added that a public education campaign would be crucial in the process.
“We have to alert the public as to the changeover (of the system), the comforts of it… the use of the card. For example, you won’t have to send your children with cash to school and worry about them being robbed, or anything like that,” he stated.
Managing Director of JR Wellington Import/Export Corporation Limited, local agents for Jonckheere, Rennie Wellington, told JIS News that no driver operating the 200 new buses will have to handle cash.
He said that the new buses will have a smartcard system, which requires the passenger swipe a card. If they don’t have the card, they can pay the exact fare into a safety box with a combination that only the key financial manager within the JUTC will have access to.
Drivers will not have to touch the funds, and they will just issue a ticket to the passengers. He said that it is similar to systems used in many countries, including Japan and Bermuda. Currently, the JUTC operates a system utilising both cash and the smartcard.
The Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) includes the Corporate Area and areas of urban St. Catherine, such as Spanish Town and Portmore.

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