Mon | Jul 16, 2018

LETTER OF THE DAY - If JUTC could be as smart as its card

Published:Monday | September 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:My mother said last Friday she went to the Transport Authority office at North Parade, next door to Coke Methodist Church, to purchase a Smarter Card.

She got there at 9:30 a.m. and joined the regular line.

After she had been there a while, about an hour and a half, a woman came and pulled several elderly persons out of the line and created another line of senior citizens and started processing cards on their behalf.

She went along to that line, as she is 79, and felt she qualified as a senior citizen.

She waited there until about 1 p.m.

At that time, the same woman (later described by another as the supervisor) came out and stated that she "nah deal with nobody else after the man in the white cap". That person was standing in front of my mother. She did not move.

A second person came and said, "Come out of the line" and if she did not hear the supervisor say she not dealing with nobody else.

My mother and about four other persons went back to the regular line and up to 3 p.m. were waiting.

At that time, another worker (male) came and said they could leave the money and information with him, then come back to pick up the card on Sunday. She felt he was a scammer, though it was obvious that he worked there. She left at that point without buying a card.

She said many students were also in the line and were subject to the same horrible customer service.

This is, in fact, the second time she has tried to purchase a card.

The day before the announcement of the fare increase, she visited the same location and was told no cards were available for sale.

This after the announcement that no cash will be accepted on buses after September 1.

Is there a better system?

Can the Paymaster and Bill Express outlets, JN Money Shops, and organisations like that be allowed to sell Smarter Card, as well as add money to them?

Can the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) also establish (if they do not already have one) a website where users can top up or purchase the cards?

Those might be better ways to manage sales so the Government would not have to establish points of sale and have the attached overhead expenses to deal with.

In addition, a website and the network of locations these companies already have established would help with the crowd management being experienced at the JUTC location(s).

The Smarter Card is a product which will be in high demand going forward. Are we going to waste time waiting in long lines when more practical solutions already exist?