There’s confusion this afternoon regarding the outcome of an emergency meeting today, between the Government and stake holder groups over the planned increases in fares for the JUTC.
The meeting was called as opposition to the increases, granted to the state-run bus company, continues to mount.
On Wednesday, Transport Minister, Dr. Omar Davies announced a 50-percent increase in fares for students, a 20-percent increase for adults, and a 2-hundred percent increase in for senior citizens.
The announcement drew swift backlash from the parliamentary opposition and several stakeholder groups.
The Government is reporting this afternoon that the increases in JUTC fares will in fact take effect on Sunday as previously announced.
However, the increase for senior citizens has been downgraded from 2-hundred percent to a 1-hundred percent spike.
This means the fare for senior citizens will move from 20 to 40-dollars instead of 60-dollars.
In a statement this afternoon the Transport Ministry reported that talks took place involving stake holder groups, cabinet was consulted, and only the fares for senior citizens will be adjusted.
But the Jamaica Civil Service Association, JSCA, and the National Council for Senior Citizens both say it was agreed that no increase would come into effect on Sunday.
President of the JCSA, O’neil Grant, told our news center this afternoon that Transport Minister, Dr. Omar Davies committed today to put on hold plans to increase JUTC fares.
And President of the National Council for Senior Citizens, Syringa Marshall-Burnett, also reported that her understanding was that plans for an increase in fares on Sunday were postponed.
Mr. Grant had also said it was agreed that before any increases were implemented, more consultations involving stakeholder groups would take place.
Word from stakeholders groups that plans to increase JUTC fares effective Sunday had been put on hold was widely reported this afternoon in both the print and electronic media.
But the Simpson Miller administration is insisting that it’s all systems go on Sunday and fares for adults will be increased from 100-dollars to 120-dollars, that for minors from 20 dollars to 30-dollars and for senior citizens from 20-dollars to 40-dollars.