J$50m upgrade for MoBay Transport Centre
The Montego Bay Transport Centre, which has been in a state of disrepair for some time, is to be upgraded at a cost of $50 million as part of a renovation and development project, which is aimed at putting the facility back into an acceptable state.
Transport Minister Lester 'Mike' Henry, who made the announcement during a visit to the transport centre last week, said the work, which will be done in phases and will be funded as a part of a joint-venture partnership between the Transport Authority, the St James Municipal Corporation and other stakeholders, should begin within the next 60 days.
"It is important that what you currently have here in a major city should be comparable with what major cities demand, and so we will be upgrading the Montego Bay Transport Centre to make it look as it should," said Henry.
The renovation work will include new security fencing, more bathrooms, paved ground, additional shelters, shop spaces, proper signage, lighting, walkways, more security posts and beautification to spruce up the location.
"We have to redesign in here so it begins to attract all the people who are not using it right now, and we have to begin that by making the transport centre recognisable, thus showing that it is here for us to move and transition from one point to the other," declared Henry.
"I want the illegal operators to become legal, and those that are using areas outside the perimeter of the transport centre to be encouraged to come in so we can put some order in place. The Montego Bay Transport Centre must be a welcoming place, where persons can be safe and be able to connect with their transportation," added Henry.
Based on previously outlined plans, the land adjacent to the transport centre, which is owned by the Jamaica Railway Corporation, will over time be used to facilitate the expansion of the facility while still housing the soon-to-be revived railway service.
Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, has welcomed the plan to renovate the transport centre, which he said has been long in coming.
"The transport centre has outgrown itself because if you notice, the park is full and if you go out on the street, you might have four times the amount of taxis out there, so there is no doubt that the transport infrastructure in Montego Bay is grossly inadequate," said Davis.