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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chaos at New Halfway Tree Transport Centre

I remember as "lil Pickney" walking to school from Half Way Tree, up Constant Spring. This by way of Trafalgar Road and Hope Road. It was a long walk to Half Way Tree and then another couple of miles to school from there. Well, it wouldn't be if I didn't miss the bus all the time.

Many people have stated how this place had gotten that name. Some people say it is because of the large Cotton Tree under which many wary travellers would rest on their way from the city to the hills. Another theory was that his spot marked the halfway point between the two military barracks at Port Henderson and NewCastle. It was stated that when Oliver Cromwell ruled the colony that Royalist beneath the tree forced passerby to drink toasts to King James.

One thing that has always been a constant was Halfway Trees clock. Originally erected in 1913. Halfway Tree is home to St. Andrew Parish Church (and school) and the old court house.

Marking a New Era is the Halfway Tree Transport Center. Officially opened this past weekend, it serves a reminder to the population boom in the Kingston area. The stairways and some columns were wrapped in the National Colors(black, green and gold).
According to the Gleaner,

The Centre is beautiful, inside and out and with this beauty comes a challenge. The challenge is the task of keeping it that way."

However sadly their was not enough security and personnel to handle the throngs of people that came to use the center. Monday morning was a mess. A madhouse. Some people reported the wait time to purchase bus tickets anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In addition, the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company's (JUTC's) decision to change some route numbers frustrated many passengers who complained that they were not informed of the changes before yesterday.

School children took this as an opportunity to chill. They waited in the long lines or walked around trying to find the correct bus. Some schools did not get undeway until 9am (due to the absence of students).

"It is really a little more overwhelming than we had anticipated," Victor Green, general manager of the centre, admitted shortly after he attempted to calm a commuter who became angry after waiting awhile to get a bus.

The Centre was stated to be able to accommodate 49 buses at any one time and customers will be able to purchase tickets and Smart Cards On Location.

Bwoy is where deh "robot" dem?

source: Jamaican Observer

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