The Transport Authority (TA) is seeking feedback from the public on a proposal to route all public passenger vehicles (PPVs) that travel in and out of Half-Way Tree, through the Transport Centre.
In an interview with JIS News, TA Acting Managing Director, Willard Hylton, said there has been discussion around the matter, which he describes as a “sore point”, for some time.
“Everybody complains about the congestion, so we have been discussing the idea of routing all of the PPVs through the Transport Centre,” he said, adding that the Centre is currently underutilised.
The move, Mr. Hylton said, would see the relocation of taxis and mini-buses off major roadways, travelling through the Centre and exiting on to Eastwood Park Road.
The Acting Managing Director said the idea is not for them to park in the Transport Centre but to drop off, so that the people can board the buses to continue their journey.
“So that is the thinking, free Half-Way Tree by getting them into the Centre,” Mr. Hylton added.
He pointed out that the design of the Centre is to provide an opportunity for commuter exchange, “so if you only have one form of PPV going into the Centre, the exchange is not being made where it was intended to be”.
Mr. Hylton gave as an example persons entering Half-Way Tree from Papine in a taxi. They are exiting the taxi on the western side of Mandela Park and must make their way across the road in the event that they have to get a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus to continue their journey.
“If we can create the passenger exchange within the confines of the Centre, it will make life a lot more convenient for the operators – more orderly – and also for the commuters,” he argued.
Meanwhile, Corporate Communications Manager at the TA, Petra-Kene Williams, said the proposal is currently being discussed with stakeholders.
“We’d love to hear their feedback and we’d love to hear the feedback of the commuting public and general road users as well, because we are aware that the congestion in HWT is caused in part by our licencees, so when we are able to structure how the flow of vehicles will go through the Centre, it should be a win-win situation for all persons that use the corridor,” she explained.
According to Miss Williams, the Centre is not currently being operated at its maximum capacity, “so it is really organising the area to have a steady flow through and I think once it’s properly managed, then we should be able to reap the benefits of that intervention”.
The Corporate Communications Manager said that discussions are still in the early stages.
“What we want now, is to hear from people what they think, because we are very high on feedback from our stakeholders. We believe that if you are an end user, what you say can help to improve what we want to do,” she explained.