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JIS News

Persons with disabilities will be able to travel in comfort when using the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre.
This is the word coming from Manager of the Centre, Victor Green. In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Green said that the Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry had insisted that nutritionist Dr. Heather Little White, who is wheelchair bound, tour the Centre and make the requisite recommendations for the disabled community.
“There were some suggestions on the table coming from Dr. Heather Little White that we will be implementing. Some may not be able to be implemented prior to the opening but whatever else we can implement from her recommendations we will,” Mr. Green assured. “We are very cognizant of the fact that the disabled will use the centre and we are going to facilitate them as much as we can,” he added.
The Transport Centre is outfitted with disabled-friendly bathroom facilities and blind annunciators will also be installed at stop lights around the centre, Mr. Green said. These annunciators will emit a beeping sound to alert disabled commuters that they can cross the roads safely. Wheelchair ramps will also be at all the traffic lights around the Centre to allow the disabled to use the pedestrian crossing.
In the meantime, Service Planning Manager at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Kirk Finnikin said that there are specific routes for the disabled. “There are three routes that we have for the disabled. Those routes are 101, 102 and 103. Those buses are all parked on the lower platform and it is near the entrance,” he explained. These passengers will also be transported on special buses with lifts. Outlining the process, Mr. Finnikin said that “once the bus is parked, the doors will open and a lift will go down to the level of the platform, the wheelchair will then be rolled on the lift and that lift will be elevated and the driver will then take the passenger to a secure area where they will be securely fastened with a seatbelt,” he explained.
He added that the Centre is fully equipped with ramps for the safe movement of disabled passengers. “There are ramps in the Centre that will allow wheelchairs ease of access to the actual platform,” he disclosed. “For those disabled passengers who wish to go upstairs, they will be able to use the elevator,” he added.