JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, has said that the Ministry will be reviewing certain logistics pertaining to the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre, and seeking Cabinet support on a number of issues, before the bus terminal, which is ready for handing over, can be opened.
“Basically, we’re going to sit and review, re-look, reassess,” he told the press during a tour of the facility on (Oct. 3), while noting that a new assessment of expenditure, implementation and costing, will also be done.
Among the issues to be looked at are: security; how the disabled person can be best accommodated; how the centre can maximize earnings from commercialization; and the colour-coding of bus route identification signs.
The Transport Minister said he will be reviewing the decision not to allow taxis to use the centre and will seek Cabinet support for the colour-coding of license plates on taxis, to be differentiated according to parish. “I don’t understand why we are not allowing taxis to come in. Nobody has told me why. I am assuming there has to be some kind of reason for it, so I have to look at that,” he said.
The Minister recommended that maps of the Transport Centre be available to the public and said he will be looking at the possibility of building an overhead pedestrian bridge linking the facility to bus stops at Mandela Park, and will be pushing for a simulation traffic system to inform and provide guidance on traffic flow in the vicinity.
With regard to the opening date, the Minister informed that while the terminal was ready for opening, this would have to be deferred as there is outstanding road resurfacing to be done, for which some $150 million will have to be found. “Right now .we still haven’t finalized the contracts for the resurfacing of the road around and we can’t open it without that being done,” he pointed out. He said however, that he would aim for a date “before Christmas”.
Mr. Henry commended the Belgium contracting company for finishing the centre one week early. “We owe the Belgium government a great deal of thanks,” he stated.
In the meantime, Project Manager and Resident Engineer, Andrew Watt, told JIS News that the centre had 29 bus stops created for 60 bus routes and could accommodate taxis and buses, other than those of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), which will be the sole bus service using the Terminal.
Other facilities include 17 commercial shops; a 900 feet food court; four commercial kiosks; 17 public toilets with two equipped for the disabled; and an office building to accommodate staff from the JUTC, and the Port Authority of Jamaica, which will be managing the terminal.
There is also a ticketing booth for the sale of tickets; a control room, which contains a monitoring console equipped with cameras, while an Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system to locate buses along a route, which will be integrated with the security and public address systems, will be installed at a later date. Public information screens will also provide passengers with data on scheduled trips.

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