The Jamaica Urban Transit Company's (JUTC) new cashless system will take effect April next year.
This was disclosed by the company's Board Chairman, Rev. Garnet Roper, during a recent press conference at the Ministry of Transport and Works' Maxfield Avenue offices in Kingston.
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The new fare collection system is among several measures being introduced by the company that are intended to boost the company’s revenue while cutting costs, and improve the safety of passengers.
"We are anticipating the cashless system coming into effect April 2013 and we hope, before then, to put in a comprehensive marketing arrangement to advise our commuters about timetable, scheduling and so on, to make the commuting public feel that much better about taking the JUTC," Rev. Roper said.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, in September, announced the implementation of the system, which he said, will employ the use of a SmarterCard payment system. This payment method, he said, is expected to be more comprehensive than the SmartCard process, first introduced by the company 10 years ago.
A brief, provided by the Ministry, informed that the machines to facilitate the new fare collection system have been installed and the procurement process and other pertinent matters are being finalised.
The brief also stated that plans are on stream to implement the Portmore Park and Ride system come January, with a site already identified.
In the meantime, Rev. Roper informed that a partnership has been created with the HEART Trust/ NTA to refurbish buses.
"We made some announcement before about a plan to develop a facility at Lyndhurst Road in Kingston in partnership with JAGAS HEART, to refurbish buses completely, almost re-manufacture, and it is anticipated that that facility will come into effect either February or March of 2013, the two agencies are at an advanced stage of signing off on the agreement," he stated.
As it relates to revenue, Rev. Roper informed that intake has been averaging approximately $11 million daily since September, up from between $8 million and $9 million prior to September.
For the current financial year up to October, the expenses of the JUTC amount to $3.18 billion compared with the Government subvention of $316.5 million.