Comfort coming for commuters
Sheldon Williams, Gleaner Writer
Rehabilitation work began recently as part of the Transportation Centre Modernisation Programme, which aims for widescale upgrading islandwide during the current financial year.
The first phase began as scheduled on Labour Day, with rehabilitation and beautification work conducted on the Downtown Municipal (Pechon Street, Kingston), Naggo Head (Portmore, St Catherine), Nashville Park (Mandeville, Manchester), Ocho Rios (St Ann) and Montego Bay (St James) centres.
Bus lanes were painted and shops repainted at most of the centres. The boundary walls and kerb walls were given a facelift in Ocho Rios and, at the Montego Bay Transport Centre, repairs were done to the police and Transport Authority posts.
The rehabilitation work included tree planting.
Parish council's help
Transport Authority Communications and Customer Service Manager Petra-Kene Williams said, "The centres were chosen in collaboration with the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), parish councils and local authorities, so they identified some of the areas. We had done a survey some time ago on all the centres and we had some idea on what kind of work was necessary. So all those that were worked on were included in our surveys as needing some upgrading."
Increasing users' comfort, general cleanliness and maintaining orderliness were among the objectives. Williams explained that "for example, on Pechon Street, the markings for the bus lane were terribly faded, so when the buses came in, they were not lining up in an orderly fashion for commuters to take the next available one. In the Portmore situation, we had a similar concern raised by the Parish Council."
Explaining the scope of the work being done, Williams clarified, "We were not really targeting damage. We were seeking to ensure that we had cleanliness and comfort for the commuters and operators."
A 2012 Transport Authority study showed there were 228 public passenger terminal facilities in Jamaica, 177 informal and 51 formal.