JUTC drivers expected to resume duties on Wednesday following day of chaos

Police maintained a strong presence at the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre in St Andrew following a security threat Tuesda. (Photos: Gary Mitchell)

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is expected to resume normal service in the Kingston Metropolitan Area on Wednesday (Sept 25).

JUTC bus drivers withdrew their service Tuesday morning after one of their colleagues — 34-year-old Mikkel Donaldson — was shot dead in the Corporate Area Monday night.

Donaldson’s shooting came shortly after a JUTC driver reportedly stabbed to death a taxi operator — who plied the Duhaney Park to Half-Way Tree route — during a dispute in Patrick City. The JUTC driver surrendered himself to the police.

Route taxi operators also withdrew their service in protest against the killing of their colleagues. The action of the transport providers left thousands of commuters stranded.

Starting Wednesday morning, a heavy security presence is expected on buses and along certain routes to ensure the safety of bus drivers and passengers.

“We should have 40 police officers and private security officers riding on buses. We are beefing up security across the company,” JUTC Corporate Communications Manager Cecil Thoms told BUZZ.

Thousands of commuters within the Kingston Metropolitan Area were stranded after JUTC drivers as well as route taxi operators withdrew their service Tuesday.

The routes on which security is expected to be beefed up include Duhaney Park to Half-Way Tree, Papine to Half-Way Tree, Half-Way Tree to downtown and Portmore. “These are the problem areas,” Thoms added.

Thoms said that no bus will leave the Rockfort Depot — where Donaldson, who was with the company for eight years — was assigned.