JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Limited is urging passengers who ride its buses to retain their tickets, as this serves to authenticate that they have paid their fares.Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the JUTC, Gwyneth Harold, told JIS News that the bus company’s independent investigations revealed that many passengers were not retaining their tickets, and in response to this, the company saw it necessary to introduce a revenue protection programme three months ago.
As part of the programme, revenue protectors randomly check the tickets of commuters aboard the buses to ensure they have paid their fares.
“We are finding that too many of our commuters are not keeping their tickets, and the ticket is your receipt, which is your protection in case of an accident,” Miss Harold pointed out, adding that the ticket was also a means of protection for the JUTC, in that, it safeguarded the company against persons making false claims.
“Secondly, we find that persons who enter the buses with no intention of paying, the ticket is how we identify them,” she said.
The Revenue Protection Programme, according to Miss Harold, helped to eliminate free riders from the JUTC’s fleet of buses, as revenue protectors are better able to identify the lawbreakers on account of them not having a ticket.
Between May and this month, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager disclosed that many persons were found without tickets and were asked to pay on the spot, and several complied. Persons found not to have paid are asked to disembark, and in instances where they become disorderly, they can be prosecuted with assistance from the Police.
To date, some 14 persons have been arrested by the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) for not paying their bus fares, and were brought before the Traffic Court where they were fined.
Section 74 of the Road Traffic Act authorises the driver, conductor, or any other person authorised by the licencee of the vehicle to request of the passenger production, during the journey and surrender at the end of the journey, any ticket issued to him and if the passenger contravenes this section, he is liable to a penalty.
Miss Harold told JIS News that the fines for persons who disobeyed the requirement of possessing a ticket for travel on a JUTC vehicle, were recently increased to a maximum of $50,000.
She stressed that the bus company would prefer if persons did not subject themselves to the possibility of facing such strict legal penalties.
“We want people to simply pay their regular bus fare and keep their tickets for inspection. Persons should not feel as if they are being asked to do something difficult.it is for their protection and it is also our way of trying to keep order on the buses,” she noted.
Miss Harold said the company has found that most persons who did not pay or have their tickets were the ones who were disorderly on the buses. “We don’t want to mix up persons who simply dropped their tickets because they were not paying enough attention, to someone who is really out to break the law,” she added.
“It also helps to make the whole environment on the bus more orderly and more safe for both our passengers as well as our crew members”.