Jamaica College (JC) students, will now be able to travel safely and with relative ease to the Half-Way-Tree Transportation Centre in Kingston, after school.
This is being facilitated by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), which launched a re-organised student bus service at the school yesterday (Feb. 2).
General Manager of the Rockfort depot of the JUTC, Linval Thompson, said the “resurrection” of the school bus service at JC will “promote safe travel and courteous behaviour” which he listed as hallmarks of the JUTC.
Mr. Thompson said that an articulated bus, which seats 81 and stands 40, and a regular bus, which seats 43 and stands 30, will leave the school compound Mondays to Fridays at 2:15 p.m. and 3:10 p.m., terminating at the Transportation Centre.
The buses, which are being diverted from the Papine to Half-Way-Tree route, will return to their normal route after the students are taken to the Centre.
Principal of Jamaica College, Ruel Reid, said that he welcomed the initiative.
“We certainly hope it can be expanded, so that all schools in the Corporate Area can have access to this kind of facility,” he said, highlighting the need for an efficient transportation system for students.
Principal of Jamaica College (JC), Ruel Reid (second right), engages in discussion with (from left), Acting Vice President for Operations at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Robert Harpaul; Sales and Marketing Manager at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Lenworth Simms; Student Council Vice-President for JC, Howard Chamberlain; and General Manager for the Rockfort Depot of the JUTC, Linval Thompson. Occasion was the launch of a new student bus service at the school, in Kingston, on February 2. In the background is one of two buses, which have been assigned to transport students to the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre, after school.
President of JC’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Sandra Chisholm-Ford, noted that the service was a necessity as concerns, in terms of safety, have been raised by the PTA, in light of the number of child abductions which took place last year.
She also lamented the length of time it takes for students to reach home, which cuts into their time to complete homework and other duties.
The school’s Student Council Vice President, Howard Chamberlain, who will be one of the representatives travelling on the buses occasionally, explained that his job was to ensure that the students take care of the buses and conduct themselves properly.
“I think it is really helpful because…I know from personal experience, trying to get a bus is very difficult. Sometimes, one has to walk all the way to Papine to get a bus, and it poses a lot of challenges to the students. So, having the buses come on the campus is very beneficial to everyone here,” he stated.
Ryan Bonner, a 3rd Form student, echoed that sentiment. He felt that the school bus system “is more efficient than taking the (buses) on the roads.”
“It’s safer to take a bus from in(side) the school,” Mikhail Jones, another JC student commented.
A similar initiative, which started in October last year, is ongoing at the Jose Marti Technical High School in St. Catherine.