Having embarked on extensive improvements to its operations to achieve a world-class public transportation system, The Jamaica Urban Transit Company has announced new bus fares for the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) effective August 24, 2014.
In a joint press conference with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) on Wednesday, August 20, 1014, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies announced the new fare structure as follows:
- Children, students 3 to 20 years and the disabled – $30, up from $20
- Senior citizens 60 years and older – $40.00, up from $20.00
- Adult passengers – $120, up from $100
The new fare structure is expected to bring the company closer to viability and set it on a firm footing for further improvements.
Outlining some of the major improvements which led to the adjustments, Dr. Davies said “…there are several specific and significant examples of improvement which demonstrate that we are on the way to providing the commuters of KMTR with a modern, world-class public transportation system”.
He said an increase in the number of buses commuting daily, from 240 to 400, as at April 2014, had significantly increased the JUTC’s carrying capacity to 4.3 million passengers per month.
These improvements have yielded an “increase in ridership of 28% and revenue by 58% compared to the previous period (April to June),” the Transport Minister said.
To this end, losses have “decreased from $25 million per month to $162 million” to the end of July 2014 with average monthly revenue earned since April 2014 being $366 million. The average ridership now stands at 5.1 million.
Commuters can expect to see even further improvements in their bus service as an additional 55 new buses are set to roll out in time for the start of the new school year. Among the fleet will be 49 articulated buses.
SMOOTHER TRAVEL FOR COMMUTERS
Commuters will also soon be able to plan their travel with much more ease as GPS technology will, in the near future, be introduced to the system. This will allow
users to track the arrival and departure times for buses plying their route, JUTC’s managing director, Colin Campbell, announced.
“We will have GPS locater on each bus. We are ramping up technology in every way, so you’ll be able to see where your child is,” he announced among a raft of improvements which includes training for its drivers. “We are looking to have a system on par with the best in the world,” he declared.
Moving to underscore the company’s long-term vision, chairman of the JUTC, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper said the company has as its main focus the “professionalism and predictability of [the] service” offered to the public.
With the JUTC moving to a cashless system, the concessionary fares of $30 and $40, respectively will now only be accessible with the use of the JUTC Smarter Card. These can be purchased at any of the following JUTC offices:
- Half Way Tree Transport Centre – Telephone: 754-5477
- Spanish Town Lay-By (Bus Terminus) – Telephone: 749-6485
- East Parade, Downtown Kingston (Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Building) – Telephone: 948-6504
The JUTC’s new fare structure largely falls below those recommended by the Office of Utilities Regulations in 2009.