Infrastructure and transport in Jamaica falls under the remit of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing. Housing added to what was formerly the Ministry of Transport and Works in January 2012.
Functions and Responsibilities
The ministry is responsible for the country’s land, marine and air transport as well as the main road network, including bridges, drains, gullies, embankments and other such infrastructure.
Jamaica’s infrastructure comprises 15, 394km of road network covering the entire island, of which 844km are arterial roads, 717km are secondary roads, 3255km are tertiary roads and 282km are urban roads. There are also 800 bridges, 330km of rail track, a large fleet of public passenger buses, two international airports, four domestic aerodromes, ten specialized seaports and three public deep-water ports.
With the addition of the Housing portfolio, the ministry is also responsible for the facilitation, development and implementation of access to legal, adequate and affordable housing solutions for the Jamaican people.
The ministry is also the regulator of all modes of transportation, whether publicly or privately operated.
- Airline operators
- Shipping traffic
- Public Land Transportation
- Road Infrastructure
- Road Safety
In the case of Housing, the ministry is responsible for:
- Housing Policy and Research
- Squatter Management
- Land Management
- Project Development – (Planning, Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation)
- Marketing and Community Development (Social Services)
- Rent Services
Who Is In Charge?
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing is headed by a Minister who is a senior member of the Cabinet, the executive arm of the Government of Jamaica.
The mission of the Transport portfolio is to provide safe and sustainable transport systems for the movement of people and goods across land, sea and air.
In light of this the ministry is responsible to provide equal access to transport for all; energy efficiency with respect to the various transport modes; fair competition among the various transport modes and compliance with international security and safety standards. All this is underpinned by the National Industrial Policy of 1996.
Public Transportation Agencies
There are over 20 entities that assist the ministry in carrying out its mandate regarding transportation. Here are some of the major bodies.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) was established in 1998, under the Public Passenger Transport Act, to operate public passenger transport in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region.
Functions of the JUTC
- To grant exclusive license to provide public passengers transport services within and throughout the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region.
- To operate public passenger transport in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), established by the Civil Aviation Act of 1995, is responsible for regulating Air Navigation and all matters relating to safety in Civil Aviation in Jamaica.
Functions of the CAA
The Authority is responsible for the provision of air navigation services and safety services, including;
- Air Traffic Services
- Registration of aircraft;
- Licensing of personnel;
- Establishment of aerodrome standards
- Aircraft accident investigation
- Aeronautical telecommunications and metrological services
The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is the Caribbean’s training centre for professional seafarers and personnel in the shipping, logistics and supply chain management sectors.
The institute was established in 1980 in a collaborative effort by the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway to train Jamaican seafarers.
Functions of the CMI
- Satisfying the demand, locally and worldwide, for qualified seafarers,
- Exploring the link between land, sea, air
The Maritime Authority was formed under the Shipping Act of 1998, which provided for the establishment of maritime administration. Under the Shipping Act, the purpose of the Maritime Authority is to develop the shipping sector and regulate matters relating to commercial shipping and seafarers.
Functions of Maritime Authority
- Manage the registration of ships and to regulate the certification of seafarers
- Regulate the safety standards for the construction of ships and navigation.
- Inspect ships for the purposes of maritime safety and prevention of marine pollution.
- Investigate shipwrecks or other casualties affecting ships as well as charges of incompetence or misconduct on the part of seafarers in relation to such casualties.
- Establish maritime training and safety standards.
- Administer policy for the development of shipping in general
Regulating and monitoring public transportation in the urban areas of the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), Montego Bay Metropolitan Transport Region (MMR) and all other urban and rural routes and areas in Jamaica.
Fucntions of the Jamaica Transport Authority
- Licensing of all public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers
- Maintaining a transport register
- Conducting technical surveys for granting licences and determining routes
- Scheduling of routes and preparing timetables
- Investigation of complaints
The duty of the Works portfolio in the ministry is to provide, maintain and expand the island's main road network while assisting where possible with parochial and other types of roads.
The Ministry's mandate in terms of infrastructure development also extends to bridges, some drains and gullies, river training and sea defence.
Check out these reports on major infrastructure projects in Jamaica
Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing. http://www.mtw.gov.jm/
Jamaica Transport Authority. http://ta.org.jm/
Caribbean Maritime Institute. http://www.cmi.edu.jm/
Maritime Authority of Jamaica. http://www.jamaicaships.com/JSR/