Black Immigrant Daily News
The Government has announced plans to construct a new transportation centre in Montego Bay, St James, as part of efforts to ease persistent traffic congestion in the resort city.
This was disclosed by Transport and Mining Minister Audley Shaw, who said the new facility, to be named the Southern Transportation Centre, will be built on three acres of land owned by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC).
It will complement the existing Northern Montego Bay Transportation Centre, deemed outgrown by the high volume of public passenger vehicles and commuters, which is in close proximity to the project site.
Shaw was speaking during a tour of sections of the land for the new facility, as well as the Montego Bay Transportation Centre on Thursday.
He was accompanied by Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (West), Homer Davis, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams, and Member of Parliament for St James Central, Heroy Clarke.
Shaw said plans for the transportation centre’s development were timely, pointing out that based on the existing facility being situated on only about 1.5 acres of land, “Montego Bay, obviously, needs much more [space]”.
While not providing details of the project’s cost, Shaw said the development will be jointly funded by the ministry and the St James Municipal Corporation, with possible assistance from other State agencies.
He said the new hub would also accommodate buses operated by the Montego Bay Metro Limited and business process outsourcing staff vehicles while pointing out that “we want to start [work on] this transport centre as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, Minister Shaw said that the existing centre will be upgraded to make the space more comfortable and user-friendly for transport operators and commuters.
“I’m going to make sure that there are adequate facilities. So, we’re going to work on that simultaneously as we work on the new transport centre. We are going to make sure that this one is also adequately secured,” he indicated.
Mayor Williams, who is also chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, welcomed plans to build the centre.
He said the project forms part of the corporation’s strategic development plan for Montego Bay.
“We are really serious about the development of the area… [and] are committed to make sure that [it] is improved,” he said.