Parents welcome JUTC service to Clarendon
President of the National Parent-Teachers Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) Everton Hannam has hailed the introduction of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company's (JUTC) services to the parish of Clarendon, saying this move will be of tremendous assistance to parents who are struggling to finance the high transportation costs to send their children to school.
On Wednesday, the Government introduced phase two of the Rural Safe School Transportation Service, which will affect approximately 3,500 students in the parish.
In a Gleaner interview, Hannam said members of the association welcome the service, noting that it is a "step in the right direction" and they are looking forward to a speedy expansion of the service to other parishes.
The NPTAJ head bemoaned the current situation where some parents are spending up to $300 daily to finance transportation costs for students travelling to school in some rural areas.
SAFER TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
"It's an initiative including the parish council, and while we understand that the JUTC buses cannot go into deep rural communities, they allow for a coordinated effort between all transportation operators that will facilitate a safer transportation system for our students and a less expensive one that is not onerous on their parents' pockets," Hannam said.
Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies, who spoke at the launch of the service in Clarendon on Wednesday, described the initiative as a landmark project to provide safe and affordable transportation for schools in the parish.
He said the programme has had a huge impact on the lives of students who commute to the seven participating schools.
Chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council Mayor Scean Barnswell said the programme has resulted in improvements in punctuality and attendance at participating schools.
The Rural Safe School Transportation Service is supported by the Transport Authority, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, and the Clarendon Parish Council.