My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Mandatory SmarterCard Cashless System coming in March 2014 – JUTC Legal challenge NATO over Routes as JA$100 Wi-Fi needed to keep Unruly High School Students Happy

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mandatory SmarterCard Cashless System coming in March 2014 – JUTC Legal challenge NATO over Routes as JA$100 Wi-Fi needed to keep Unruly High School Students Happy

The Saga at the JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company) continues. The new man at the helm Managing Director of the JUTC Colin Campbell has been making waves, shaking the JUTC ship into efficiency.

Now it’s known public knowledge that the new mandatory Cashless SmarterCard Bus System will be coming online by March 2014 as stated in “JUTC Sets March 2014 Deadline For All Passengers To Access ‘Smarter Cards’”, published November 21, 2013 By Alphea Saunders, The Jamaica Information Service.

Under his stewardship which officially began on Monday August 12th 2013, Managing Director of the JUTC Colin Campbell has managed to turn the JUTC around, posting earnings of JA$300 per month, an earning target achieved under his stewardship as noted in “Colin Campbell Says JUTC Revenues Up More Than $300m Per Month”, Published Friday November 22, 2013 5:44 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This is quite an achievement in the space of three (3) months after that initial newspaper article, considering that according to him, the company was posting JA$200 million a month before he came on board. JA$400 million per month is thus an achievable goal, if they go Cashless via the SmarerCard Cashless System and expand outside of the KMTR as opined in my blog article entitled “JUTC to debut RFID & NFC Readable SmarterCard Cashless Bus Ticket System in April 2013 - The Last Stand for a Cashless Society to empower the Multi-Modal Concept

JUTC moves towards Profitability – Maintenance issues solvable via switching to LPG Gas

Their expense bill of JA$600 million per month is still onerous, mostly gobble up by Bus maintenance as noted in the article “JUTC Addressing Auditor General's Concerns, Says Campbell”, Published Monday December 30, 2013 9:36 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Maintenance problems which still plagues the JUTC according to the 2012/2013 Audit by the Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis as stated in “JUTC runs up massive repair tab”, published Friday, January 03, 2014 BY BALFORD HENRY Observer senior reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

A problem simply solved by the use of conversion kits to make the Buses run on LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) as opined in my blog article entitled “JUTC SmarterCard Cashless System to be implemented in the Fourth Quarter of 2013 - Upgrade Buses to use LPG Fuel to reduce Maintenance costs”.

We now know that the JUTC’s own employees probably set their own Buses on fire in an act of arson even as they continue to defraud their own company as concluded in my blog article entitled “How to defraud the JUTC and reduce your Bus Fare - Arson and Ticket Fraud means Switchover to the SmarterCard Cashless System before 2014 required”.

This was possibly out of vexation over salaries and the actions of the new Managing Director of the JUTC Colin Campbell, based on the one-day snap protest action of the JUTC Driver on Thursday November 28th 2013 as stated in “JUTC Bus Drivers On Strike”, Published: Thursday November 28, 2013 4:38 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner and “UPDATE: JUTC Drivers Back On The Job”, Published Thursday November 28, 2013 5:28 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner. This is a clear sign that they’d reached a boiling point and may have been the same issues that have led to the Bus Fires and Ticked Fraud perpetrated by JUTC Employees.

Interestingly, JUTC has upwards of 100 Cases of Fraud under investigation as noted in  “JUTC has nearly 100 fraud cases under probe”, published Sunday, December 29, 2013 BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Sunday Observer reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Already, since November 2013, 10 JUTC Drivers and Mechanics were charged as co-conspirators in the Ticketing fraud as per the article “10 JUTC Drivers/Mechanics Charged In Ticketing Fraud”, Published: Wednesday November 20, 2013 12:07 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Colin Campbell and the SmarterCard Bus Ticketing System – No need for Personalized Bus tokens

I’m not so crazy about the JUTC anymore since November 2013, a month where the JUTC seemed to spring alive. I’ve stopped taking the Bus opting to walk since Sunday November 10th 2013 when the JUTC suspended Bus Transfers as stated in “Bus Fare To Double For Many When JUTC Ends Transfers Sunday”, Published Thursday November 7, 2013 by Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner

An act that basically doubled the fares of people that travel to Half-Way-Tree and would then use the ticket to Transfer unto another Bus without paying more fare as concluded in “Bus Fare To Double For Many When JUTC Ends Transfers Sunday”, Published Thursday November 7, 2013 by Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner

November 2013 was thus the last month I took the JUTC Buses regularly for the very last time; since then it’s been a mixture of Coaster Bus and Taxis to go about my Business or just plain walking, which is healthier for me anyway and give me a chance to unfurl my camera and take pictures! Still the JUTC rings as a disappointment in my mind, as it now costs more than I can afford to spend to travel on a daily basis, forcing me to choose between lunch and Travel on too many occasions.

Since then improvements have been steady as Managing Director of the JUTC Colin Campbell gets more surefooted in his job. On Friday November 1st 2013, the JUTC introduced a new Traffic System to make sure travelers reach to work on time by creating a special Bus lane on the Mandela Highway just for them as stated in “JUTC: Mandela Bus Lane System Working”, Published Thursday November 21, 2013 10:13 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It created some traffic headaches but by October 2013 it was smooth sailing from there as noted in “Traffic movement said improved during second JUTC test run”, published Wednesday, October 30, 2013, The Jamaica Observer.

The JUTC also commissioned twenty (20) new Buses into service, increasing their seating capacity by 1,600, increasing the number of Buses in the KMTR (Kingston and Metropolitan Transport Region) to 370 Buses as reported in “JUTC adds 20 new Buses”, published Monday, December 16, 2013 6:47 PM, The Jamaica Observer and “JUTC To Roll Out More Buses For New School Term”, Published Saturday January 4, 2014 9:33 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Hopefully too they’d do something about the cockroaches and rats often seen on the Buses as noted in “Roaches Plague JUTC Buses”, published Thursday December 5, 2013, by Alicia Forrest, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. Ditto too some of the graffiti and advertising inside of the Buses that ruin the tranquil aesthetic of the JUTC Buses.

Albeit moneymakers for JUTC, adverts that are sexual suggestive, despite having the expressed intent to dissuade teenagers from having early sex, may actually be suggesting that sex is ok once they have a condom as noted in “Too Hot For JUTC”, Published Sunday December 8, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Finally there is a need to get the Unruly Children that occupy the JUTC Transport Center in Half-Way-Tree late into Friday after School is over to go home. Wi-Fi in the Buses and the Half-Way-Tree Transport Center would be a very good solution that would make money for PAMS (Port Authority Management Services Limited) as explained in my blog article entitledUnruly High School Students Making out and having sex in the JUTC Half-Way-Tree Transport Center - How wi-Fi in Buses can lead to Solar Power, LPG and the SmarterCard Cashless System”.

Half-Way-Tree Transport Center unused stores and shops also need to be rented to Canteen Concessionaires to sell food made from the Agricultural Produce of Jamaica i.e. Cooked Food, thus reducing the losses of this white elephant as stated in my blog article entitled “PAMS to debut GOJ branded Food Court in Half-Way-Tree Transport Center - Making revenue from Unruly smartphone toting High School students via Cooked Food and JA$100 a week Wi-Fi Internet”.

JUTC vs the NTCS Coaster Buses – Legal challenge over Routes and 2000 Jobs looming

Managing Director of the JUTC Colin Campbell’s rhetoric hasn’t gone down well with everyone. Coaster Bus Operators have been put on alert as to the coming reality. These new Buses and additional seats they represents logically means that there will be less Routes for them Come Tuesday April 1st 2013  as noted in “JUTC Prepares For Prolonged Coaster Bus Operators Strike”, Published Thursday December 5, 2013 2:05 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Argument that the JUTC is using to make this possible is that most of the Coaster Buses being operated are older than 10 to 15 years old and may not be roadworthy as noted in “Transport Authority Making Plans To Remove Old Vehicles From System”, Published Friday January 17, 2014 9:32 am, The Jamaica Gleaner. Thus New Sub-Franchises contracts are being drafted which means less Private Coaster Buses and more JUTC Buses, simply put.

Most of the Coaster Buses, however, do need to leave the road. This is true, as I myself have observed some of these Buses aren’t being serviced based on how they drive, often belching black smoke. These Coaster Buses produce the very same vehicle emissions that SDA (Seventh Day Adventists) want banned under the 1938 Road Traffic Act, Section 43 (2) that imposes a JA$4000 fine on Vehicles that produce noxious health-threatening emissions as noted in my blog article entitled “Adventists want Ban on Vehicle Pollution as Smoking Ban looms on Monday July 15th 2013 - Dr. Fenton Ferguson's Escape Plan leads to All-Electric Vehicles, Bio-Fuel and Citronella Candles”.

The Coaster Bus Operators aren’t taking this lying down. Their representative body, NATO (National Association of Transport Operators) have already Lawyer-ed up themselves for a prolonged legal battle against the JUTC as reported in “Group To File Injunction Against JUTC Over Bus Routes Take-Over”, Published Thursday January 23, 2014 9:03 am, The Jamaica Gleaner. The JUTC’s actions threaten to effective put many of them out of a Business that’s a livelihood for many Bus Conductors, Drivers and Touts despite knowing that their ageing unmaintained vehicles that are a health hazard.

So now we have two (2) deadlines. One for Commuter on March 2014 for the mandatory acceptance of the SmarterCard Bus System on a Bus Systems that’s more expensive. The other is the deadline for NATO’s members to accept the new sub-franchises that’ll put many of them out of work. Trust me folks, the JUTC has very few friends among Commuters and Coaster Bus operators.

This Case will be of National Significance. In the meantime, I’m still on the fence as it relates to getting the JUTC’s SmarterCard, which seems to be asking an awful lot of questions just to get a machine-readable Card. This info doesn’t protect the SmarterCard from being stolen and unless it has other uses other than just travelling on the Bus as opined in my blog article entitled “JUTC to debut RFID & NFC Readable SmarterCard Cashless Bus Ticket System in April 2013 - The Last Stand for a Cashless Society to empower the Multi-Modal Concept”, it won’t catch on.

Jamaicans aren’t particularly fond of having their money tied up in Cards; they love live cash in their hands, part of the reason why the Unbanked cohort in Jamaica is so large. Stay tuned to my Blog as for the results of this court case that promises to have more action than the Murder Trial of embattled Deejay Vybz Kartel.

No comments: