JIS News

As of (February 1), the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) began personalising Smart Cards, free of cost, for those commuters who wish to pay using the cashless system.
Speaking with JIS News, Marketing and Sales Manager, Lenworth Simms said: “It is in keeping with the thrust to encourage the cashless approach to travelling.”
He said that the figures now show that there are just under 80,000 smart cards in circulation and with this new initiative, the JUTC hopes to get up to 90 per cent of all commuters, who travel on a daily basis, to purchase smart cards.
Prior to February 1, an additional cost of $50 was charged to personalize the smart cards, but “we have eliminated that cost,” Mr. Simms said, adding that there is no additional cost to purchase the card and to personalize it. The card has a useful life of approximately five years.
Highlighting the convenience of the smart cards, Mr. Simms said that unlike the tickets which are now route specific, the smart card allows the commuter to take any bus. “For example, if you are buying a ticket to go on the 46 bus, that ticket cannot be used to travel on a Route 44 bus, although they are both going in the same direction. What the smart card does is to eliminate the need to buy a new ticket if the commuter has to take another bus. Once you have a card, you go to the bus you wish to ride on and you pay your fare using your card,” the Marketing and Sales Manager explained.
In the meantime, Mr. Simms informed that the 10 per cent discount on fares that applied to smart card holders came to an end on February 1. “It’s an attempt to improve the company’s profitability as well as to position the smart card for its convenience,” he said.