Consequent on the announcement of a new curfew that will take effect tomorrow Saturday, August 22, 2020 beginning at 7pm until 5am through to Wednesday, September 2, 2020, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, JUTC, is advising the public that its operating hours will be impacted.
Buses that would normally be dispatched from as early as 4 in the mornings will now be done at 5am. This means the first commute will likely take place at or around 6am. While between 7pm and 8pm buses are to be taken back to their depots without passengers.
We take this opportunity urge passengers to not wait until the last minute to transact business and to be at the bus stop as early as possible, as some routes take up to two hours to complete. We are also encouraging commuters to top up their smartercards to eliminate the use of cash and to wear their masks for the entire length of their journey.
The new curfew will be imposed in Kingston & Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendom and St. Thomas.
The Board of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, JUTC, has summoned all senior managers to a meeting set for Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 8am to discuss the findings of the Auditor General’s performance audit into the operations of the bus company.
The Board says it takes the findings of the performance audit seriously as the JUTC is a public body subject to Government regulations.
It says the meeting will also seek to discuss the recommendations of the Auditor General and to urgently make policy to correct the breaches identified.
SPANISH TOWN, St. Catherine, Jamaica: We find it necessary to respond to allegations made by Opposition spokesman on Transport Mikhael Phillips in a video in which he claimed there are inadequate face masks and hand sanitizers for drivers. This is inaccurate and misleading. We wish to enlighten the Opposition Spokesman about what we have done and continue to do to fight the coronavirus.
The safety of our staff and commuters is our number one priority. Since the announcement of our first COVID-19 case in March, the JUTC has activated its emergency protocol to guide and direct its response. These include the following measures:
Temperature checkpoints: A handheld thermometer is used to check the temperatures of all staff members and visitors entering our facilities. Should there be an anomaly, this would trigger the Health Ministry’s protocol.
Sanitization: Buses are cleaned per cycle trip at terminal points (Half Way Tree Transport Centre and North and South Parades), while depots and high-touch areas are cleaned twice weekly. In addition, we have also installed sanitization dispensers on buses as another layer of protection for passengers who may not have their own sanitizers. Dispensers are also installed across the operations of the company at strategic points.
Protective Personal Equipment: We continue to purchase items such as sanitizers, anti-bacterial soap, alcohol and masks. We have sufficient supplies in our inventory at the moment. These are provided to staff including drivers upon presentation at work or when requested. The company has also made it mandatory for all passengers to wear a mask to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
In addition to the aforementioned, and to afford some degree of protection to our drivers, we have cordoned off the first two seats immediately behind the driver. We have also installed a prototype ‘cage enclosure’ around the driver which is being explored as a long-term measure for the safety of our drivers who are sometimes assaulted by members of the public.
The Company has also established a COVID Command Centre which monitors the logistics of our entire operation and provides daily reports. This will continue for the foreseeable future until the risk and threats posed by the disease have been abated.
It is clear that we have been agile in our response to COVID-19, and will continue to fulfil our mandate with the resources available to ensuring that our staff and the public at large remain safe. That is our number one priority at this time. We remain ready to brief Mr. Phillips about the operations of the company at his convenience to avoid such a recurrence in the future.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited, JUTC, is advising that in keeping with the Transport Authority’s moratorium, an extension has been granted until May 29, 2020 for the payment of sub-franchise fees. The fees were originally due March 31st but operators were granted an extension to April 15th.
Corporate Communications Manager, Cecil Thoms, says we are aware of the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on operators and thus it was important for us to empathize with them in giving them additional time to generate the funds, as we all navigate these challenging times.
We continue to urge operators to be safe and healthy, as well as respect the practices necessary to safeguard their well-being and members of the public.