JIS News

Story Highlights

  • JUTC ‘Park and Ride' service starts in September in Portmore
  • Service from Portmore to New Kingston, Half-Way-Tree and downtown at scheduled times
  • The company plans to roll out an additional 144 buses by the end of the year

Residents of Portmore, St. Catherine, are to realise savings in transportation costs with the introduction of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC) ‘park and ride’ service starting in September.

This was disclosed by JUTC’s Deputy Managing Director for Operations, Kirk Finnikin, during a ‘Think Tank’ session at the Jamaica Information Service’ (JIS) headquarters in Kingston on Wednesday, August 21.

“What we intend to do is to introduce the ‘park and ride’ service where a designated area in Portmore, secured, which will allow you to park your motor vehicles, step out of your motor vehicles, board a JUTC bus and get into select areas into Kingston, such as New Kingston, Half-Way-Tree and downtown at scheduled times. In the evenings your bus will come back for you and carry you back to the parking lot that you parked in the morning,” he said.

Mr. Finnikin said the idea is to offer a comfortable service for commuters, but more importantly, to help them “save on the commuting stress that can be introduced sometimes when you have to be in traffic on the way to work”. The service will also reduce transportation expenses.

“You are saving on fuel, you’re saving on time, you’re saving on tyres, you’re saving on wear and tear etcetera. The long and short is the fare for the ‘park and ride’ will be an affordable one and around the vicinity of what it will cost to go through the toll to and from Portmore,” he assured.

In the meantime, addressing the issue of where designated parking areas will be located, Managing Director, JUTC, Colin Campbell, informed that at the introductory stage “it is going to be in partnership with churches. We are going to use the parking lots of a number of churches”.

“Longer term, there’s that big property across from the Petcom gas station near to the mall, which is owned by Urban Corporation Development (UDC), which we are looking at and which we have had some preliminary discussion ( with) the UDC about developing that property into a proper facility for ‘park and ride’ from Portmore to Kingston,” he said.

The Managing Director assured that adequate buses will be available as the company plans to roll out an additional 144 buses by the end of the year.

“Since the start of this year, we have been averaging a daily run out of 244 buses and we intend by September 1, to move this to 350 going up perhaps by the end of the year, to at least attain the plan of 388, but perhaps surpassing the plan and heading closer to 400,” he informed.

Mr. Campbell said the increased number of buses will enable the company to provide a more predictable schedule for commuters, and offer more comfortable air conditioned buses on the routes.