Saturday 30 May, 2020

Timeline: Deadly dispute cripples Corporate Area transportation

The Half Way Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew on Tuesday after JUTC drivers withdrew their services following the killing of an employee.

The Half Way Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew on Tuesday after JUTC drivers withdrew their services following the killing of an employee.

The public transport sector was crippled Tuesday as a deadly dispute between a taxi driver and a Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) employee allegedly led to a reprisal killing and threatened to escalate into further bloodshed.

In fear of being harmed, JUTC drivers withdrew their services, severely impacting public transportation across the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMTR), which includes wide sections of St Catherine.

The problem seemingly started with the stabbing death of a taxi driver on Washington Boulevard in St Andrew on Monday night, allegedly by a JUTC driver.

Akeeno Britton

In what is believed to have been an act of reprisal, gunmen later shot and killed a JUTC employee near Emancipation Park in St Andrew.

Here is a timeline of the developments:

- Monday, 6.45 pm: Stabbing death of taxi driver Akeeno Britton, aka  ‘Keno’ or ‘Buminile’, allegedly by a JUTC driver, on Washington Boulevard.

- Shooting death of JUTC employee in New Kingston hours later in what is believed to be a reprisal killing.

- Tuesday, 7 am: Withdrawal of service by JUTC bus crews after the developments, especially the latter incident, became known to them. Thousands of commuters left stranded. JCF assists in commuting students to school.

- Transport Minister, Robert Montague calls for calm among all industry stakeholders.

- JUTC driver turns himself over to police in connection with stabbing death of Britton

- Emergency meeting held among stakeholders including the Police High Command; the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) and Ministry of Transport officials. "It was a frank and candid meeting and those present ventilated issues of concern to them," Communications Director at the JUTC, Cecil Thoms, said in a statement.

- Tuesday, 5 pm: JUTC resumes services

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