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Bus-fare increase takes effect today

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

As of today, Jamaican citizens will have to dig deeper into their pockets to meet the first Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) fare hike in five years, along with property-tax increases.

Despite criticism from trade unions, and disapproval expressed by those who take public transit, the increases made by the JUTC take effect today.

Passengers will now pay $80 as their regular fare. The concessionary rate, which applies to children, the elderly and disabled, is $20, up from $15.

Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry cited increases in wages, as well as the cost of fuel, operation and tyres as the reasons for the hike.

Credit for gov't

Henry said, in a release from the ministry, that the Government should be given credit for containing the fare hike despite the "tight fiscal position".

Meanwhile, property with an unimproved value of up to $300,000 will yield $1,000 in property taxes.

Property with unimproved value more than $300,000 will now be taxed 0.75 per cent for every additional dollar.