Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Waterford residents fed up with JUTC

Published:Saturday | September 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMR.A.
Garnett Roper, chairman of the JUTC.
Colin Campbell, managing director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company.

This is my second letter to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) in less than six months, and though I try not to write, I am getting a really bad taste in my mouth every single time JUTC is mentioned.

I am a legal resident of Waterford, and despite the stigma attached to the community, decent, law-abiding and hard-working people reside there.

Numbers 3, 3A and 4 ply the route. However, these buses come from as far as Christian Gardens, which is the terminus between Christian Gardens and Waterford. There are no fewer than 15 communities, namely, Christian Gardens, Christian Pen, Christian Meadows, Watson Grove, Hamilton Gardens, all the sections of Gregory Park proper, Caymanas Gardens, Cedar Grove and its environs, Surrey Meadows, Meadowvale, Cumberland, West Cumberland, Independence City, Hog City and Portsmouth.

It doesn't take a child over four years old to figure out that by the time the buses get to Waterford, which, incidentally, has five different sections, with at least 100 houses in each section, it is filled to capacity, and then some. On several occasions, I have witnessed the drivers shortening their routes, totally avoiding Waterford like an outside child born out of a one-night stand.

In recent times, the JUTC has made an effort to alleviate some of the transportation stresses travellers face, but, unfortunately, like so many of your efforts previously, the grand gesture was short-lived as we are again at the mercy of a dispatcher or a driver's mood and attitude for the day.

miserable demeanour

There is a permanent elderly lady dispatcher who is stationed at the terminus in Waterford. Apart from her miserable demeanour, which is understandable given the basket she is given to carry water, she tries really hard to assist us. Many a morning I hear her on her phone literally pleading for a bus to be dispatched to the area. I have even seen her take a bus, leave, and come back with an empty one to assist us.

I have overheard her mentioning to someone the difficulty she is facing in getting buses to come to Waterford, and I wonder, are we lepers? Do residents of Waterford have some type of communicable disease that warrants the powers that be to treat us in such a manner?

When an empty bus finally comes into the community, it is usually packed to capacity. The company cannot lose should it give the community a route of its own or, at the very least, designate a route during the peak hours of the day to Waterford.