In September 2016, passengers travelling on the 452 buses operated by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will be able to access free Internet service on their smartphones and other devices.
The state-run bus company yesterday launched the pilot of Wi-Fi services on two of its routes ahead of the full roll-out later this year.
The pilot routes for the service are the 24 Express, which serves customers travelling from Spanish Town to the University of the West Indies, and the 130 Premium Express, which serves commuters from Longville in Clarendon to downtown Kingston.
At a ceremony held at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre, Minister of Transport Dr Omar Davies and the Minister of Science and Technology Phillip Paulwell hailed the introduction of the Wi-Fi service as a game-changer for the public-transport system in Jamaica.
Granville Newell, media specialist with the JUTC, explained that the Internet service is being provided by telecommunications partner Digicel and will come at no cost to the company.
The bus company has said it is introducing the service as an attempt to increase the level of comfort and customer satisfaction on its buses.
JUTC has been introducing a series of initiatives aimed at improving the travelling experience on its buses.
The roll-out of Wi-Fi services is expected to complement JUTC’s Google Transit application. Available through the Google Maps platform, the app provides information on the entity’s bus routes, schedules, and fares.
While only 32 persons will be able to connect to the service at any point, Finnikin is confident that this will be sufficient to meet the expected demand.
He also moved to address concerns about unsavoury use of the Internet service on the buses.