The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is,( Wednesday evening, September 25), struggling to get its service back to near normal, following the withdrawal of service by the company’s drivers Tuesday.
The JUTC says its services will end by 8 o’clock this evening, as there were still safety issues.
Through Wednesday there was a much lower outturn than its normal 380 to 400 buses, as the company put out just over 100 buses on its routes in the morning. Thousands of commuters were late or had to get alternative means of transport throughout the morning. In the afternoon, with still just about a quarter of the JUTC fleet on the road, members of the public experienced long wait for their buses. Heavy rains made things miserable for many bus users, some of whom used taxis, including some without “red plates” who tried to fill the gap.
Rains and roads
Heavy rains continued to pelt much of the island through to Wednesday afternoon, continuing days of inclement weather. Several roadways in the capital city were flooded by heavy rain through Wednesday afternoon. These included a section of Marcus Garvey Drive, Harbour Drive and parts of Florizel Glasspole Highway.
The National Works Agency (NWA) says flooding and landslides continue to impact roadways in Clarendon, St. Catherine and St. Andrew. Several roads across Clarendon were flooded. One of the main roadways in St Catherine, the Bog Walk Gorge continues to be dangerous with rock falls and small landslides although these are being cleared by the NWA
More big tickets men
Police are reporting that another set of public passenger vehicle operators with hundreds of unpaid tickets has been hit with fines and suspension of licences after court appearances, Monday. They are forty-year-old Roger Bartley, bus operator of Eltham View, Spanish Town, St. Catherine. He had 1,028 outstanding tickets; thirty-nine-year-old Andrew Bailey, taxi operator of Tavern Crescent, Kingston 6 who had 272 outstanding tickets and fined $72,000 and his licence suspended for one year, and thirty-six-year-old Duwayne Barrett, taxi operator of Stony Hill, St. Andrew who had 189 outstanding tickets. He was fined $54,000 and his licence suspended for two years.
New PSOJ Head
Keith Duncan Group head of JMMB has been elected to head the powerful Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ). He replaces Howard Mitchell who served two terms for the body that lobbies for the private sector.
The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is confirming it will roll out charging stations for electric vehicles during the first quarter of 2020.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, stated earlier this month that as the country pushes for technological advancement and improved energy use, the JPS would be providing charging stations for vehicles powered by electricity.
“Over the first three months of next year, we should have the units across the island,” Director of Business Development at JPS, Dionne Nugent, told JIS News.
She said that the charging facilities will be situated at locations “that we believe are easily accessible, that are convenient and secure”.
Ms. Nugent is part of a local delegation, the Energy Minister, which is attending the Solar Power International trade show in Utah in the United States.
NWC debt write off
The National Water Commission (NWC) will be writing off the debt of some customers who have been severely affected by the recent drought conditions. Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday, September 24. “The Government does recognise that this prolonged drought has had an intense impact on several communities. Residents in communities that were subjected to the frequent and prolonged service disruptions will be the beneficiaries of a bill redemption system under very specific conditions, and through specific procedures,” he said.