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Bus service comes to a halt

marciadottin, [email protected]

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Bus operators who ply the Waterhouse route yesterday withdrew their service in protest over ‘a serious parking problem’ in the downtown Kingston area.The Olympic Transport Association and the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO), the organisation which represent more than 60 legal bus operators that ply the Waterhouse route, said as a result of the problem they were calling on Transport Minister Mike Henry and the JUTC to look into the matter.“Our members are being harassed daily by the police as we have no where to park our vehicles,” said JATOO in a release yesterday. The organisation said that because of the harassment, and the fact that the buses of its members were being seized daily, they had decided to take action.“We are aware that the commuting public will be disrupted but we have no choice but to withdraw our service. Our parking area on West Queen Street has been taken over by vendors and taxi operators and we are left under the heavy hands of the police officers,” a release from the bus organisation said. JATOO has also threatened to take further action if the matter is not resolved.“If we cannot get a solution from the minister, the JUTC or the Police High Command, we will be taking further actions.” The bus operators said they were asked to pay up to JAM$149 000 annually to the JUTC for franchise fee to operate, and were not given a suitable parking area. “Instead our members are placed behind bars daily and our buses seized.” (Jamaica Observer)