Busmen beating the system - Illegal operators paint their buses to blend in with legal colleagues
Illegal transport operators in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) are now beating the system by painting their vehicles in yellow to blend in with legal operators.
Almost two years ago, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) ordered its subfranchise holders in the KMTR to colour-code their buses by painting them yellow as part of efforts to bring order to the system.
But now, the rogue operators are managing to beat the system by following the colour code.
It is a problem that Clinton Clarke, communications manager at the JUTC, says is extremely troubling as these illegal operators are often undetected and put themselves and members of the public at risk.
"In Jamaica, everybody tries to beat the system. Some of these buses that you see in yellow are not buses that have a franchise with the JUTC. They are disguised," said Clarke.
"They recognise that the JUTC is colour-coding its sub-franchise operators, and so these guys go ahead and do their own colouring in the same yellow so that they don't face the challenges and the regulations of a legal operator. It is a serious violation that needs to stop," added Clarke as he appealed to the Transport Authority and the police for help to catch the offenders.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Clarke warned legal subfranchise operators that their vehicles are to be painted yellow only and that there should be no graffiti as this is a violation of their franchise licences.
"The buses are supposed to be yellow. They don't have any right or any reason to be putting on all this other stuff on the buses," said Clarke.
"If they are advertising something on the buses like a dance, or so, we really don't have any control over that because that is a part of their revenue generation, but they cannot put any and anything on the buses to just say it looks pretty," said Clarke.
This is being breached, however, as several of the buses now operating on the Duhaney Park, Seaview, and Waterhouse routes display multiple slangs and even expletives written in wacky fonts. Some even have the effigies of popular dance hall artistes.