Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague says there is no fare increase being contemplated now, as was being reported. In recent days, there have been reports that the fares on the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses will go up in response to higher fuel charges.
However, the Minister dismissed reports about fare increases this morning following a bus ride. The minister took the public bus this morning but not to work as hundreds of thousands do every day.
Mr Montague travelled for the first time in his capacity as minister from Three miles to Half Way Tree transport centre, then to Cross Roads and back to the bus centre, on a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus. It was mainly for him to try out the Wifi now available on some JUTC buses and to personally gauge the services offered.
Passengers on board the bus ride included the managing director of JUTC, Paul Abrahams: CEO of Growth Tech, the organization that will provide free wifi on JUTC buses, Neil Lawrence; staff representatives from Ministry of Transport and Mining and members of the media.
Members from the general public travelling on those routes were greeted by the minister at the door and received a token and complimentary bus ride from JUTC. The minister engaged with the commuters on the bus, inquiring about their experience with JUTC and their level of satisfaction with the service.
The minister also asked the passengers about their experience with the members of staff at JUTC. Many of the passengers boasted of their loyalty but stated that the buses were too often lately and that needs to be addressed.
CEO, of Growth Tech, Neil Lawrence aided Mr Montague in connecting to the wifi provided on the bus. He was also seen assisting passengers to connect to the service. The driver of the bus Shaunice Bignall-Young, was commended for her safe and efficient service.
The press briefing after the bus ride at the Half Way Tree Transport centre saw speeches from Minister Montague, Mr Abrahams and Mr Lawrence.
By: Racquel Garwood