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JUTC defends full fares on no-school days - concessionary charge for students tied to uniforms and school days

Published:Sunday | September 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Colin Campbell

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Managing director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Colin Campbell is defending the bus company's decision to charge students full fares on non-school days.

Students pay a concessionary fare of $30 on school days and the full fare of $120 on non-school days, and according to Campbell, there ought to be no confusion over this.

Campbell, in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, said the company's provision for concessionary fares for children is clear-cut.

"It has always been like this, but because of the meticulous fare-collection system and allocation, people are getting to understand it more. The law speaks to students in uniforms," said the JUTC boss.

"How it is done: The ministry sends us the number of school days per year, and the rest of the days are programmed out (of the JUTC) system and we call them A-days, or adult days. Saturdays and Sundays are not school days, so those are A-days, and on those days, you pay full fares if you are over 12 years," said Campbell.

He noted that in the JUTC's system, children under three years old travelled free, while those from three to 11 years paid the concessionary fare at all times.

However, the student fare is tied to a school uniform.

"It's the age group 12 years to 20 years and when you are in uniform. But all of that information is on your card. You present the card and the machine knows what day it is. Concession cards do not work for students on Saturdays. It applies only when you are in uniform," said Campbell.

The government-owned bus company introduced the smarter card system for all categories of individuals benefiting from concessionary fares on the buses at the start of the academic year 2014-2015.

Children and members of the disabled community enjoy concession fares on the buses of $30, while senior citizens pay $40. All others pay $120.

  • Soldier charged for damage to JUTC bus

A member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), who became irate and damaged a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus with a machete following a vehicular accident, has been charged with malicious destruction of property.

Reports are that about 5:30 p.m. last Friday, the JDF private was driving his Honda motor car along George Lee Boulevard in Portmore, St Catherine, when the vehicle was hit by a JUTC bus laden with passengers.

When the bus stopped, the soldier reportedly used a machete to smash the rear windshield and a window near the driver.

A male passenger reportedly suffered facial injuries from the broken glass.

The matter was reported to the Bridgeport police and the soldier arrested and charged.

He was granted bail and booked to appear in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court later this month.