JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The new system is part of the drive to prevent, and mop up revenue losses, which amount to $250 million monthly, and also help to eliminate fraud.
  • The shuttle system is now an option for persons, who wish to disembark in Half-Way-Tree.
  • As the JUTC increases its fleet, a number of the transfer buses have become under utilised.

The removal of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) free transfer system is expected to save the state-run bus company some $500,000 to $600,000 daily, or $150 million per annum.

Managing Director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell, provided details on the savings at Wednesday’s (November 20) Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

He said that the new system, which will now require passengers transferring from JUTC buses in Half-Way-Tree to other destinations, to pay, is part of the drive to prevent, and mop up revenue losses, which amount to $250 million monthly, and also help to eliminate fraud.

He explained, for example, that route 32 has two routes into Half-Way-Tree. The 32B buses terminate in Half-Way-Tree, while the 32 buses continue to downtown Kingston. However, all passengers boarding either 32 or 32B buses are entitled to transfer tickets, whether or not they are transferring.

“What is happening is (people) just catch the first bus that is going to Half-Way-Tree, whether it is 32 or 32B…so if we carry 1,000 persons into Half-Way-Tree and only 500 wish to continue on, what happens to the other 500 tickets? Invariably (they) show up for sale in the transport centre and on the streets, so it represents to revenue leakage,” he stated.

“Each time you go on a JUTC bus now, you pay…it will require a slight re-orientation of how you use the bus service,” Mr. Campbell stated.

He noted that the shuttle system is now an option for persons, who wish to disembark in Half-Way-Tree. “We have straight routes that terminate at the end of the line, there is no need for you to go into Half-Way-Tree and wait. Just take a bus that goes to the end of the line. It will save time for commuters,” he said.

He noted that as the JUTC increases its fleet, a number of the transfer buses have become under utilised, making the system somewhat inefficient.

The new system took effect on November 17.