Safe passage to 'Salute' - Festival increases highway revenue
Chad Bryan, Staff Reporter
Operator of the Jamaica North-South Highway Company China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) is crediting its precautionary measures on the Linstead to Moneague leg of the highway during the staging of Rebel Salute 2015 from January 16-17.
The festival is held in Priory, St Ann, at Grizzly's Plantation Cove. With many of the thousands attending expected to travel from Kingston ahead of the event, CHEC anticipated a 20 per cent increase in revenue for that leg of the highway over the two days.
"We made some safety arrangements in advance [which included] increased patrol frequency," said Lu Qin, manager of Operations, Jamaica North-South Highway Company Limited.
However, while there were no fatal crashes, Qin did state that it was not a perfect track record for motorists. "There were some minor incidents such as flat tyres and overheated vehicles. We would like to remind motorists to check their vehicle's condition before travelling to the mountain area," he said.
The operations manager added that a wrecker service had to be called twice for vehicles that ran into difficulties. Qin noted that CHEC is awaiting feedback from the Jamaica Constabulary Force on speeding and drunk drivers - that is, if any infractions were recorded.
Rebel Salute is billed as an alcohol-free event, at which the organisers do not sell liquor.
During Rebel Salute 2015, more than 1,500 motor vehicles traversed the new highway, well over the regular usage. It costs drivers of class One vehicles, which includes cars and small SUVs, $200 one way, while Class Two, which includes large SUVs, vans, and small trucks, pays $420.
Class three vehicles such as trucks are charged $1,000 one way, and class four, including motorcycles and three-wheel vehicles, $160.
CHEC declined to comment on how much money it earned over the period but acknowledged that revenue had increased.