Traffic Chaos – Jamaica Observer

A section of Montego Bay’s congested transportation hub.

MONTEGO BAY, St. James — Minister without portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office (West), Homer Davis, says efforts are being made to expand the Montego Bay transportation hub as part of an initiative to ease existing traffic congestion in the resort town.

According to Davis, a former mayor of Montego Bay and sitting MP for St James Southern, he invited his colleague, Transport Minister Audley Shaw, to the city in a bid to secure land owned by the Jamaica Railway Corporation for expansion. essential to the center, which is nearby.

“I have arranged for the Minister responsible, Mr. Audley Shaw, to visit [to Montego Bay]with a view to taking possession of some of the railway land to expand the transport hub, to include sections of Railway Lane,” Davis told the Jamaica Observer West.

There have long been calls for the expansion of the center which has exceeded its capacity.

DAVIS…I arranged for the minister responsible to come to Montego Bay to take possession of some railroad lands.

As a result, buses carrying workers in the hospitality and business process outsourcing sectors frequently park on sections of usually busy Howard Cooke Boulevard, adding to traffic congestion in the tourist town.

Moreover, the inadequacy of the center has led to other challenges such as illegal parking and unruly behavior of taxi operators.

In light of this, Montego Bay business tycoon Mark Kerr Jarrett recently called on the government to use rail land to exponentially expand Montego Bay’s transport hub, which he says is now full. to crack.

“What I would ask of the government is with regard to facilitation, and in particular the BPO [business process outsourcing] right now is a transportation hub in Montego Bay, which is multi-modal, where we can bring in all of our employees from west Jamaica and bring them to an organized transportation hub where they can then go out, whether that either to BPO or hotels, or downtown Montego Bay, Fairview, or anywhere even along the elegant corridor,” suggested Kerr Jarrett.

KERR-JARRETT… that [expansion of the transport centre] will move traffic from the main road to a central area from which everyone can go.

He noted that the proposed expansion of the transportation hub would facilitate increased numbers of a variety of motor vehicles and help alleviate “some of the congestion” created by worker drop-off and pick-up on Howard Boulevard. Cooke.

“We have a problem with BPO now. Because when shifts change and buses leave the Montego Bay Free Zone and Barnett Tech Park, it creates a huge amount of congestion on the Howard Cooke. [Boulevard] and by Pier One and others. And the suggestion came from Mr. Winston Cher [businessman]as well as Mike Henry [former transport and mining minister] raised it, is to take the old railroad land and turn it into a multi-modal transportation hub,” said Kerr Jarrett.

“This will move traffic from the main road to a central area from which everyone can go, from 40-seater buses to taxis, cars or minibuses, and will be distributed accordingly,” he added.

Kerr Jarrett was a panelist on the Invest MoBay forum and public discussion, part of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Expo 2022, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, last week. The theme of the discussion was: “Creating opportunities for growth and development”.

Davis, who was also one of three panelists including Gloria Henry, noted that “when Mark came to that, it’s something very frontal about my vision for the future for Montego Bay.”

“Yes, we definitely need expanded space for a transport hub and when I look at the railway grounds, coupled with what is there now, and the lower sections of Railway Lane, I think that area would be a great area to take eastbound and westbound traffic out of Montego Bay, so that’s something he touched on that we’re discussing,” Davis said.

“If we can get this whole area and put it in the transport hub, we’ll have more space for taxis and buses, and then we could have eastbound and westbound operation. So people who come from Irwin can just come and turn around and go out of town instead of having to travel into town and stuff like that.”

Davis later told the Western Observer that he expects Shaw to visit Montego Bay later this month as part of efforts to secure parts of the rail lands for the expansion of the transportation hub.

“We’re trying to see if we can get it [Shaw] before the end of November. He should have been down [to Montego Bay] on October 28, but I was out of the country,” Davis said.

In fact, the government minister noted that as soon as he was mayor of Montego Bay, he was looking to acquire the land to expand the center.

“It’s something that I support, even before I was a minister. When I was mayor of Montego Bay, we went there, we took the president of the Jamaica Railway Corporation, Mr. Ferris Ziadie, and we looking for how we could get it going,” Davis told the Western Observer.

“We need space in Montego Bay.

There is need [expansion] because this transport hub was built about 20 years ago. The [expanded] transportation hub would also serve as a drop off point for people who work in the BPO sector, as these buses do not have a designated area to park. They use the Pier One car park but some still park along the road.”

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