Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Stop chasing our buses, JUTC tells students

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2023 | 12:15 PM
Commuters jostle for space as they prepare to board a Jamaica Urban Transit Company bus at the South Parade terminus in downtown Kingston in January 2023. - File photo.

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) and the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport are appealing to students in downtown Kingston to avoid running alongside buses in an attempt to board and secure seating.

This has been a longstanding issue especially at peak hours when passenger load is generally greater than the supply of JUTC buses.

The situation has been exacerbated by a shortage of JUTC buses, which is being addressed by the government.

Given the lengthy wait to get a JUTC bus during peak hours, commuters often jostle to secure a space on buses.

The entities argue that the practise of running alongside JUTC buses in the downtown Kingston layby poses a serious risk to student and vehicular safety.   

In recent weeks, they said, there have been reported incidents of students from schools in downtown Kingston running alongside buses in the bus park in an attempt to board and secure seating.

The behaviour not only endangers the students' lives and safety, but also the safety of other passengers and road users, they argued.

“This practise is extremely dangerous and could lead to serious injury or may even result in death. We witnessed this behaviour in the latter part of December 2022, and unfortunately, it seems to continue even now. We cannot continue to ignore the issue, as to do so would be at our own peril,” noted Corporate Communications Manager at the JUTC, Cecil Thoms.

An urgent appeal is also being made to school officials and parents to speak with their children about the dangers of running after and alongside buses, and the importance of practising road safety while commuting to and from school.

They are also being reminded to encourage students to stand on the curb and wait for the buses to come to a complete stop before approaching them. 

Approach the bus from the front and wait for the driver to open the door and do not push or shove other passengers, the JUTC and the Road Safety Unit advised.

“The Ministry and JUTC take the safety of all commuters seriously and we want to remind everyone that running alongside buses is a dangerous practise,” said Deidrie Hudson Sinclair, Director of the Road Safety Unit.

“We have engaged the Ministry of Education and Youth as well as the schools in the area to provide road safety intervention and will be doing so over the coming weeks.”  

Parents and students are being asked to take this issue seriously and to work together with the Ministry and the JUTC to ensure the safety of all students and commuters in preventing any future incidents. 

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