The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC), has announced operational changes effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020. This is in light of an island-wide curfew from 8pm to 6am starting tomorrow, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The curfew is to last for seven days.
Managing Director of the JUTC Paul Abrahams says the curfew will impact all routes, but more so the premium service which operates outside of Kingston. He says the following measures will be implemented tomorrow in accordance with the curfew:
- The roll-out of buses will start no later than 8a.m.
- Routes that originate and terminate in Kingston will have a 10-15 minutes headway
- Portmore routes/out of town routes (Longsville, Clarendon, White Water/Inswood, Old Harbour) will have a headway 30 minutes
- Hill routes (Above Rocks and Border) including 52, 53, 54, 61 their last run will be at 4:30pm
- The last available bus will be at 5pm which will allow for drivers on completion of their cycle trip to return back to the depot to conclude their duties and go back home before the curfew deadline.
We will review these measures where necessary and adjust accordingly as we continue to monitor the situation.
Jamaica has now recorded its 8th case of the coranavirus (COVID-19), joining more than 100 countries which have so far been impacted. We are closely monitoring the developments around the virus and wish to share with you what we are doing to mitigate its spread.
Prior to the confirmation of these cases, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, JUTC, was taking all the necessary precautionary steps possible to ensure our readiness. We have and continue to consult the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to ensure we are aware of, and aligned with, guidance regarding travel. As part of our sensitization programme, we have dispatched brochures from the Ministry of Health to inform both our internal and external publics about how to treat with the virus, email and whatspp messages as well host several internal meetings.
We take our customers’ safety seriously which has always been, and remains, our number one priority. We have activated our emergency protocol a major part of which is the sanitization of buses. Buses are normally cleaned once per day as part of our standard operating procedure, but this will now be amplified as we introduce additional measures to sanitize our units. Here is what has been done to date:
- A schedule has been created for disinfecting buses, depots, and our major hubs
- On March 12, 2020 the JUTC began the sanitisation of high touch areas of the Company’s buses and depots. This will continue for the initial period of lockdown. The activity will be modified if necessary as time progresses.
- We have established a Command Centre that will monitor the impact of the virus on commuters and staff
- We have begun placing alcohol and hand sanitizer dispensers at entrance and exits across our operations
- We have procured goods to include antibacterial soap, bleach, alcohol and will continue to do so
- Cleaning crews have been dispatched, to strategic bus terminals (North Parade and the Half Way Tree Transport Centre), who will clean the bus after each cycle trip. This is in addition to cleaning that will take place at respective depots. This protocol will be modified if required.
- Our media campaign to sensitize Jamaicans began on Friday, March 13, 2020 and will be ramped up next week.
We encourage our staff and commuters to follow the guidelines from the Ministry of Health to wash their hands regularly and to cover their nose and mouth with tissue if they have to sneeze or cough and to dispose of the tissue when they are through. We are also encouraging commuters to throw the tissue in a bin at the end of their journey and not to leave the tissue inside the bus.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. Should you have any query or concern, please feel free to call us on 876.749.3192-9, visit our website at www.jutc.gov.jm or any of our social media handles @jutcltd on Twitter, facebook.com/jutcltd or instagram.com/jutcltd.
We remain committed to providing you a safe travel environment and look forward to your support.