Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Taxis complying with social-distancing protocol

Published:Saturday | May 9, 2020 | 12:17 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
In this March photo, a female was turned away by the taxi driver as she would have been the fourth passenger in a cab which runs from Papine to downtown Kingston.
In this March photo, a female was turned away by the taxi driver as she would have been the fourth passenger in a cab which runs from Papine to downtown Kingston.

Many taxi and bus operators in sections of Kingston and St Andrew are seemingly adhering to social-distancing guidelines outlined by the Government for the sector, in terms of the number of passengers they are allowed to transport at a time.

These measures were implemented to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

While the majority of taxi operators in Papine, Half-Way Tree and downtown Kingston transported one passenger at the front and two at the back in the regular five-seater vehicles yesterday, some seven-seater operators carried five.

However, The Gleaner witnessed a breach of the protocol in Papine when a couple entered a Toyota Probox which already had a passenger at the front and one in the back seat.

While there was minimal violations of the seating arrangement on board taxis, some operators took regular breaks from wearing masks. Based on observation, the Gleaner team saw a high level of compliance in the wearing of masks by passengers.

In Papine, Half-Way Tree and downtown Kingston, passengers travelling on Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses wore masks.

According to Communications Manager at JUTC, Cecil Thoms, if passengers were not wearing masks, they would not be allowed on board the government-run buses. He stated also that a meeting should take place sometime next week to determine whether seating arrangements need to be adjusted. Until then, Thoms pointed out that the government’s main requirement for JUTC buses is that no one should be transported standing.