The new downtown Kingston transport system, to be implemented on January 15, is being hailed as ‘highly beneficial’ to commuters and persons doing business in the area.
Transport Authority (TA) General Manager for Operations, Cecil Morgan, told JIS News that the new system will prove “quite beneficial” to the general public.
“It’s really a very good move on the part of the UDC, the Transport Authority, the Police and the KSAC,” he told a JIS Think Tank, Tuesday (January 11).
Mr. Morgan also pointed out that, aside from facilitating the re-development of the downtown Kingston area, several organizations are re-establishing their corporate offices in the downtown business district, giving rise to the need for more efficient and seamless transportation for consumers.
Several meetings were held with stakeholders, including the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Transport Authority, Police and hackney carriage operators, which led to an amicable arrangement, Mr. Morgan noted.
“I think we’re pretty much on our way going forward,” he added.
A critical part of the new system is the shuttle service, which will operate on a roughly four-minute frequency during peak periods, and every eight minutes during off peak periods. This system will be in operation between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
He also disclosed that some 350 police officers have been designated to patrol the area to ensure adequate security, and the Transport Authority will be employing an additional 30 inspectors, specifically for the downtown area, to complement members of the inspectorate body redeployed to the area for acclimatization as of Wednesday (January 13).
“So this information flow on what we have agreed with the operators will have to be passed on and signed off with our inspectors, to ensure that what we have agreed to will remain in force,” he noted.
Approximately 50 JUTC buses will be utilizing the Parade area, 250 sub-franchise JUTC operators will be using the Pechon Street facility and the rural stage operators from St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland will utilize the Water Lane facility, he stated.
Hackney carriages, which form a major part of the whole re-development process, will be strategically located at several key points.
“We have dedicated areas at the lay-by at the corner of King and Barry streets and at the General Post Office. Also parking is designated at Darling Street, by the Ebenezer Church, and also at Pechon Street. At North and South Parade, there are lay-by’s that have been designated to allow the hackney carriage operators to ply their trade,” he pointed out.
Route Taxi’s from the Waltham Park area, Jones Town and Chisholm Avenue area will use the facilities at Water Lane (across from the facility being used by the rural stage operators).
Mr. Morgan noted that the system is a work in progress, but that a lot has already been achieved and there are more benefits to be derived by the public.