My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why JUTC's JA$100 fare hike in March 2016 as Wi-Fi and Checkered Taxis coming

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why JUTC's JA$100 fare hike in March 2016 as Wi-Fi and Checkered Taxis coming

The JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company) has just made me very happy.

They've decided to keep the bus fare at JA$100 until Thursday March 31st 2016 as reported in the article “JUTC To Keep Adult Fares At J$100”, Published Sunday December 13, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Not only they but they've also extended their operating hours till 1 pm daily starting Saturday December 19th 2015 as reported in the article “JUTC To Extend Operating Hours For Holiday”, published Sunday December 13, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

So why so generous JUTC?

JUTC's hike Postponed till March 2016 - Why Google Transit Maps and Wi-Fi makes them competitive against Taxis

According to Managing director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell, their extended 2015 Summer Promotion and other change is starting to reap benefits:

1.      28% increase in passenger load
2.      40% reduction in fuel costs

They've thus decided to keep the JA$100 for adult fares until Thursday March 31st 2016. This is personally welcome news for me, as sometimes I do take the JUTC Bus despite my boycott of their services since August 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “JUTC SmarterCard Rollout and Fare Hike Postponed – Why I'll be boycotting JUTC Buses anyway as they're not trying to Save Money”. 

Their services have been showing signs of improvement. They are moving closer and closer to being a more transparent company as it relates to buses travelling on time with the introduction of their routes placed on Google Maps for Google Transit announced in August 2015 as per my blog article entitled “Why @JUTCltd @Google Transit from @UWImona Computer Science Department is the next AVL”.  

They have also rolled out the more convenient Prepaid SmarterCard Launch on Friday October 30th 2015 being a one good example as noted in my blog article entitled “How JUTC will earn JA$30 million per day from JUTC Prepaid SmarterCard Launch”.

This no doubt may have contributed to their increased passenger load, as its now easier to top up your SmarterCard.

The reduction in fuel costs is mainly due to the falling price in oil, which is trading at US$40 per barrel thanks to OPEC (Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries) to punish the US for exporting their own Oil as noted in “How low can oil prices go? Opec and El NiƱo take a bite out of crude's cost”, published Sunday 13 December 2015 by Debbie Carlson, The Guardian

JUTC vs the Route Taxis – Why Free Wi-Fi will make them competitive against the checkered cabs

Coincidentally this is the final date Route and Hackney Taxis have to get the checkered stripes for their Cars or face JA$30,000 fines as reported in my blog article entitled “Why ITA says Checkered Stripes coming to Jamaican Taxis by March 2016”.

If the JUTC follows through with their plan to install Wi-Fi on their Buses as predicted in my blog article entitled “Wi-Fi on JUTC Buses in September 2015 - How extended 2015 Summer Promotion will increase revenue by JA$4 million daily”, expect to see even more massive increases in JUTC passengers, even after March 2016 in the Year of the Monkey!!

So albeit I’m not fond of the JUTC, they're slowly becoming a more likeable company. In fact, if they really install Wi-Fi on their buses, I’ll call a truce and ride the JUTC!

Route Taxis, your move!

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