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LETTER OF THE DAY - JUTC (Just Using Trusting Commuters)

Published:Friday | June 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I'd like to address some issues reflected in the soap opera I'd like to call 'JUTC - Just Using Trusting Commuters'. The Jamaica Urban Transit Company states that its mission is "To Provide A Customer-Oriented, Safe, Reliable, Modern, Cost-Effective, Transportation Service ... ."

How can you be "customer-oriented" if you temporarily remove a much-needed bus from a route (124) without informing its regular commuters or even assessing the need, and assign another bus with an already-established route (125) to drive through the aforementioned route to pick up commuters, all of whom are heading to work or take their children to school before work? For more than one day! All because you are "experimenting" with a new route you're hoping to introduce?

Sardines-in-a-tin conditions

As for the 'premium' service, the JUTC claims it is to provide a "comfortable alternative to individuals driving to work". Standing with work luggage and experiencing sardines-in-a-tin conditions is not a comfortable alternative. Waiting in the HWT Transport Centre for 45 minutes on a transfer bus (having already completed half your journey after your regularly assigned bus did not show), and then further having to stand for the rest of your journey on the transfer bus after paying for premium service is far from comfortable or acceptable.

The so-called 'premium' service is supposed to ensure "commuters get to work in a relaxed frame of mind". Really? With all I have listed so far - relaxed?

JUTC, you say "our aim has been excellence" and that "buses are clean, crews are well trained and buses run according to schedule". So explain dirty and dusty interiors and water-stained windows. Explain a substitute driver (who was 50 minutes behind scheduled arrival time), leaving a passenger at a terminus on the journey because she, like others, came off to top up the bus card at the ONLY CONVENIENT place, a practice which is allowed by the route's regular driver; and despite being prompted by multiple commuters, drives out of the bus terminus while the passenger's belongings are still on the bus (by the way, he took the time to come out of the bus, walk to the passenger as she was at the window waiting to get back her card, and tell her that he was not waiting).

JUTC's managing director Colin Campbell and the stakeholders of the JUTC need to cut out the puffery! The words 'safe' and 'reliable' clearly have different meanings to them. For God's sake, respond to emails, complaints, customer queries and stop experimenting with bus routes without speaking to the commuters who USE them. You are solely using us for our money!


Spanish Town, St Catherine