JIS News

Commuters who use the Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC) Express and Premium services will benefit from a roll back in the fares effective Monday (August 24).
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank Session Wednesday (August 19), Corporate Communications Manager at the JUTC, Reginald Allen, announced that commuters will benefit from a roll back to the fares which existed prior to April 1, 2009. The roll back will not apply to the regular routes.
Commuters who now pay $80, $100 and $120 on the Express and Premium bus service, will pay $20 less. Routes which had been increased to $150 in April will revert to $120, and those which now cost $160 and $170 will return to their previous fares of $130 and $140, respectively. The Longville Park to Downtown Kingston route will move back down to $170, from $250.
Explaining the rationale for the roll back, Mr. Allen noted that the JUTC had increased the rates for these services in April, due to rising operating costs. However, he noted that the downturn in the economy has adversely affected people’s ability to pay for these services at this time, and has influenced the move to revert to the previous fare structure.
“Out of the recognition of people’s inability, to a significant extent, to access the services at the increased costs, despite the major economic challenges, we have given due recognition and have decided to roll back these rates and facilitate the commuters to be able to access the service in the required numbers and to help them face the challenges of the global economic picture that has been unfolding before us,” Mr. Allen told JIS News.
He pointed out that the core function of the JUTC is to provide a general bus service, and to fulfill the basic commuting needs of the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).
Conversely, he noted that the Express and Premium Services are operated entirely on a market driven basis, and were introduced to provide enhanced services to the commuting public and to show the multi-tiered approach that the company has taken in expanding its offerings and improving its overall image.
“At this time, commuters need to access the service and that’s why the buses are here and we are really focused on working with the commuters as best as possible,” Mr. Allen stated.
He noted that the reduction in these fares will remain until the economic conditions improve.
“Hopefully, when we have a better situation, in terms of balancing the economic factors for us and commuters are able to pay, then we may be forced to increase these prices again, if that’s a necessity,” he explained.
To what previously obtained before the increases that have been in place since April 1, 2009.

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