The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Ltd in partnership with the Ministry of Health & Wellness will on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, mount its first vaccination effort dubbed Vax-Up Day at the Half-Way- Tree Transport Centre, St. Andrew. It will run from 10am – 7pm.
Corporate Communications Manager at the JUTC Cecil Thoms says “it is clear to us that as a group interacting with members of the public daily, we must play our part in ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff, passengers and families.”
Mr. Thoms added that “Over the past two weeks or so, we have been working closely with the Ministry of Health in staging a series of sensitization and awareness forum virtually, to ensuring that information is available to our staff. In these sessions, employees were able to ask questions and get answers on the spot from medical professionals,” Mr. Thoms said.
Continuing, Mr. Thoms noted that “Vax-Up Day is to encourage our team and the general public at large to get vaccinated as we look towards being with family and friends for the Christmas and beyond. The longer there is vaccine hesitancy, the longer it will take for us to return to a semblance of normalcy,” he added.
The Ministry of Health will be providing 1st and 2nd doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as well as the single dose Johnson and Johnson.
The JUTC is encouraging commuters who are yet to be vaccinated to use this opportunity to do so. Walk with your government-issued I.D. and remember your vaccination card, if you are receiving your second dose.
Participants will be refreshed by Catherine’s Peak, Nestle and Mighty Malt.
The JUTC continues to urge the public to adhere to the established COVID-19 guidelines to limit the spread of the virus.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company, JUTC, will be operating a reduced service for essential and frontline staff on the weekends of the curfew and during the Easter holiday period. This follows recent adjustments to the curfew hours by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Corporate Communications Manager Cecil Thoms said “the JUTC will provide normal service during 5am to 8pm, on weekdays. However, the Company will provide reduced service on the weekends of the curfew and the Easter holiday period.” He added that schedules are posted on the bus company’s website and social media pages.
“Commuters can view the schedules at our website at jutc.gov.jm or they may view the schedules on our Facebook page at Jamaica Urban Transit Company or on Twitter @JUTCLTD. We encourage commuters to familiarize themselves with the schedules. Should our commuters have any query or concerns, they may also call our Customer Care team at 888-588-2287 or our REPORT IT hotline at 876-570-1789,” Mr. Thoms said.
Meanwhile, the Corporate Communications Manager is also taking this opportunity to appeal to customers to continue to wear their masks for the entire length of their journey when using public transportation. He says while there has been an appreciable increase in mask wearing, the JUTC has noticed a trend that upon entering the bus, customers tend to uncover their nose or take off the mask completely.
“We are appealing to customers to desist from this practice. Keep your mask on, ensuring that it covers your nose and mouth and wear it for the full length of your journey until you get home. We want you to keep safe and be alive,” Mr.Thoms said.
Commuters are being advised to take note of the following changes in our operations due to an adjustment in the curfew hours beginning at 8:00pm nightly, effective tonight, and ending at 5:00am daily until February 24, 2021. This, following a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Our morning operations will remain unchanged. However, there will be adjustments to our afternoon peak. Please see below:
- Last trips will be at 6:30pm for hill routes (52, 53, 54,)
- All other routes will end at 7:00pm
- Buses will return to their depots between 8:00pm and 9pm without passengers.
We are encouraging our passengers to adhere to the protocols, by washing their hands frequently, sanitize as often as possible and by wearing a mask. Let us continue to do all we can to minimize the risk of transmission. Keep safe.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) wishes to set the record straight amidst reports that have surfaced about overcrowding at the Half Way Tree Transport Centre, the Downtown Hub and a number of its Lay-bys. These instances of stranded commuters are being attributed to mismanagement and a shortage of buses.
The JUTC has always acknowledged the chronic shortage of buses to service the requirements for passenger lift within the two very distinct peak periods daily. Corporate Communications Manager, Cecil Thoms says with there being no exemptions to the JUTC, the curfew has restricted the operating hours of the bus company. “What we have is a situation where significant shortage of buses has been compounded with a seated-only policy and a concomitant increase in commuters at the Centre between 4:30pm and 6pm daily, resulting in a passenger rush at the end of the permitted hours of operation” Thoms said.
He noted that the Company is working aggressively to ensuring that outer points that support the Centre provide greater inflows as best as possible to meet demand. However, the absence of dedicated bus lanes, signal prioritization at traffic lights and queue jump lanes means that the cycle times increase with an increase in traffic on the roads. Therefore, while every effort is being made to ameliorate the situation there can be no guarantees in the transit times from the outer points to the Centre.
Meanwhile, he noted that while both gates at the Centre are closed at 5:30pm, there are no restrictions on buses to enter or for passengers, if seats are available. But, from a security standpoint, a decision has to be taken daily to close the gates based on the assessed departure time for the last runs of the day along the various routes. These times are available from the JUTC’s website and other social media platforms.
“We are appealing to passengers to download our last trip departure schedule which is available on our website so that they can better manage their daily commute for the remainder of the curfew, as well as to wear facial masks to protect themselves and other commuters. Also, employers and commuters can help us by better planning their days so that everyone is not in the Centre at the same time standing in long queues” Thoms said.
The management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, JUTC, is advising the public that its corporate office located at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, will be closed today, Tuesday August 25, 2020 and Wednesday August 26, 2020. This, after two additional staff presented with flu-like symptoms who may have had interactions with an employee who yesterday was confirmed as COVID-19 positive.
The closure should not affect our depot which is located on the same property and or the service provided by our drivers said Corporate Communications Manager, Cecil Thoms. “To be clear, only the administrative staff has been sent home. Our drivers and dispatchers are still on the job. As we did yesterday, we will again ensure the deep cleaning our buildings. “ Thoms said.
In addition to that, we are seeking to have the Health Ministry come in to test employees, as well as to help us conduct the necessary contact tracing to mitigate any potential spread. We are not taking this lightly and are doing everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and by extension the public at large.
Yesterday, the corporate office was shuttered following the confirmation of a Covid19 case.
All things being equal, we will resume normal operations of our corporate office on Thursday, August 27, 2020.
Please note, that should commuters have any queries or concern re-schedules, they may call our customer service number at 876.948.4240 / 876.570-1789 or visit our website at www.jutc.gov.jm and our social media platforms (@jutcltd) for updates.
Keep safe and remember to wear a mask when using the JUTC.