KINGSTON — The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has rolled out three new buses, which will be used to serve the disabled community.
The air conditioned buses, which were commissioned during a ceremony at the JUTC depot, on Ashenheim Road, in Kingston, on May 17, bring to six the number of buses now serving the disabled in Kingston.
In his remarks, Managing Director, JUTC, Paul Abrahams informed that 55,000 disabled persons are transported yearly on three routes serviced by the JUTC, adding that while the regular service has designated seats that cater for disabled individuals, the new units will greatly assist in boosting that effort.
“As part of our mandate at the JUTC, we have to ensure that we pay special attention to this operation, which is so greatly needed and in much demand,” Mr. Abrahams said.
Social Affairs Officer, Combined Disabilities Association, Theresa Grant said that with more buses, children with intellectual disability as well as other individuals will enjoy the benefits of getting to where they want to go on time.
“We are appreciative that the JUTC found it possible, along with the Government, to improve this service and we are indeed looking forward to even more improvement in this area. On behalf of the Combined Disabilities Association, I want to say thanks to the JUTC,” Miss Grant said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore expressed gratitude on behalf of all persons with disabilities, for the work that is being done by the JUTC.
“We are celebrating the fact that three state-of-the-art buses with air conditioning and comfortable cushion seats are being brought into the fleet and I think that this is going to enhance the experience of persons with disabilities as they travel, and it is going to make them feel on par with their counterparts in the society,” Mr. Gallimore said.
In the meantime, Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry informed that the JUTC will be retrofitting some of the refurbished buses to suit the requirements of the disabled community.
“My job is to make sure that persons who are less fortunate in the society, have access to public transportation to get them home safely,” he said.
The special fleet of buses assigned to the disabled community serve the Sir John Golding Rehab Centre, Lister Mair-Gilby Senior School for the Deaf, Hope Valley Experimental School, the Abilities Foundation, Salvation Army School for the Blind and the School of Hope, among others.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter