Jamaica Omnibus Service
The Jamaica Omnibus Service (JOS), operated a municipal bus service for the Kingston Metropolitan Area, from 1953 until it was wound up in 1983.
In June 1898, the existing mule car service in Kingston was phased out and a transition to electric trams, initially operated by the West India Electric Company and later by the Jamaica Public Service Company, was undertaken. This transition to the electric tram was completed on March 31, 1899. This tram service continued to operate, but the inflexibility of a tram service could not keep pace with a growing city, and the tram service ceased on August 7, 1948.
Kingston's first bus service operated by a company called Jamaica Utilities commenced on August 8, 1948. Initially communities served included, Rockfort, Hagley Park, Mountain View and Three Miles. The service operated by Jamaica Utilities was unsatisfactory, mainly due to the poor condition in which the fleet was maintained. Efforts to get overseas professional advisers was rejected by the House of Representatives as were efforts to get financial support from government.
Inception and Replacement
At its inception in 1953 the JOS was owned and operated by the British Electric Traction Company Limited, until it was nationalized by the government of Jamaica in 1974. The JOS replaced the first operator of public bus transit services in Kingston, Jamaica Utilities. The JOS was replaced by a hodgepodge system of private operator owned buses, and franchisees, which provided very unreliable and unstructured services and was very unpopular with the public. In 1998, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) was established and continues operations to this day, (2014).
Fleet and Infrastructure
The JOS inherited a very dilapidated depot and bus infrastructure from Jamaica Utilities, and the JOS gradually built new facilities, including a depot at Lyndhurst Road and upgraded the existing depot on Industrial Terrace. The JOS also refurbished the existing US built fleet with British built Leyland Engines. By the late 1970s the entire fleet consisted of various models of British built Leyland buses.
At its peak, the JOS had a fleet of over 600 buses, and serviced an area ranging from Spanish Town and Portmore in St. Catherine in the western extremities of the Greater Kingston area, Border, Mt. Charles, Irish Town and Mavis Bank in north rural St. Andrew, Port Royal to the south, and Bull Bay (10 Miles) in east rural St. Andrew.
A partial listing of JOS routes;
|Route Numbers||Origin to Outward Destination||via|
|1||City Centre to Harbour View West||Windward Road, Mineral Baths|
|2||City Centre to Harbour View East||Windward Road, Mineral Baths, Harbor View West|
|3||City Centre to Constant Spring||Cross Roads, Half Way Tree|
|5||City Centre to Cross Roads||Slipe Road|
|6||City Centre to August Town||Cross Roads, Matilda's Corner, Papine|
|8||City Centre to Waterhouse||Spanish Town Road, Three Miles|
|11||City Centre to Parks Road||Red Hills Road, Swain Spring, Cooper's Hill, Rock Hall|
|12||Barbican Place to Jack's Hill Village||Gayles House|
|14||City Centre to Barbican||Cross Roads, Lady Musgrave Road, Kings Gate|
|15||Cross Roads to Balmagie||Rousseau Road, Delacree Road, Waltham Gardens|
|16||City Centre to Jones Town||Slipe Pen Road, Studley Park Road|
|17||City Centre to Denham Town||Slipe Pen Road, Arnett Gardens|
|18||City Centre to Greenwich Town||Beckford Street, Darling Street, Spanish Town Road|
|20||Railway Station to Rollington Town||Rae Town, Passmore Town, Elleston Road|
|21||City Centre to Norman Gardens||Windward Road, Lucas Road|
|22||City Centre to Mona Heights||South Camp Road, Cross Roads, Matilda's Corner|
|23||City Centre to Fernandez Avenue||North Street, Franklin Town|
|24||City Centre to Rennock Lodge||Windward Road, Wareika Road|
|25||City Centre to Rockfort Commission Road||East Queen Street, Windward Road|
|26||City Centre to Eden Gardens||North Street, South Camp Road, Merrion Road, Deanery Road|
|27||City Centre to Half Way Tree||Windward Road, Mountain View Avenue, Trafalgar Road|
|28||City Centre to Vineyard Town (Lexington Avenue)||North Street, South Camp Road, Merrion Road, Deanery Road|
|29||City Centre to Papine||Windward Road, Mountain View Avenue, Old Hope Road, Matilda's Corner|
|30||City Centre to Golden Spring||Cross Roads, Constant Spring, Red Gal Ring, Stony Hill|
|31||Constant Spring to Border||Old Stony Hill Road, Golden Spring, Lawrence Tavern|
|32||Constant Spring to Parks Road||Red Gal Ring, Stony Hill, Cavaliers, Salisbury Plain|
|33||City Centre to Rock Hall||Cross Roads, Red Hills Road, Forrest Hills, Red Hills|
|34||Constant Spring to Mt. Pleasant||Diamond Road, Golden Spring, Mt. Airy|
|35||City Centre to Havendale||Red Hills Road, Whitehall Avenue, Mannings Hill Road|
|36||City Centre to Norbrook||Cross Roads, Half Way Tree, Camperdown, Shortwood Road|
|37||City Centre to Meadowbrook||Cross Roads, Half Way Tree, Dunrobin Avenue, Red Hills Road|
|38||Cross Roads to Havendale (Michigan Close)||New Kingston, Mannings Hill Road|
|39||Cross Roads to Meadowbrook Estate||Dunrobin Avenue, Bakery Gates|
|40||City Centre to Pembroke Hall||Spanish Town Road, Waltham Park Road, Molynes Road|
|43||City Centre to Valentine Gardens||Lyndhurst Road, Half Way Tree, Arlene Gardens|
|51||City Centre to Cross Roads||South Camp Road, Camp Road|
|52||City Centre to Omara Road||Spanish Town Road, Maxfield Avenue|
|53||City Centre to Richmond Park||Spanish Town Road, Maxfield Avenue|
|54||City Centre to Barbican||Spanish Town Road, Half Way Tree, West Kings House Road|
|55||Cross Roads (Circular)||Brentford Road, Caledonia Cresent, South Camp Road|
|60||City Centre to Gordon Town||Cross Roads, Matilda's Corner, Papine|
|61||Papine to Redlight||Cooperage, Irish Town|
|62||Papine to Mt. Charles||Gordon Town, Mavis Bank|
|65||City Centre to August Town||Cross Roads, Matilda's Corner, Mona Road|
|67||Cross Roads to Hope Pastures||Arthur Wint Drive, Rosevelt Avenue, Hopefield Avenue|
|70||City Centre to Papine via Three Miles||Spanish Town Road, Three Miles, Half Way Tree|
|X77||East/North Parades (Circular)||Windward Road, Mountain View Avenue, Mona Road, August Town, Papine, Old Hope Road, Half Way Tree, Dunrobin Avenue, Washington Boulevard, Patrick City, Marcus Garvey Drive|
|X80||City Centre to Spanish Town||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Edgewater, Independence City, Gregory Park,|
|X81||City Centre to Spanish Town||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Independence City, Naggo Head|
|X82||City Centre to Gregory Park||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Fort Agusta, Independence City|
|X83||City Centre to Bayside Centre||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Fort Agusta, Independence City|
|X84||City Centre to Waterford||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Fort Agusta, Causeway|
|X85||City Centre to Naggo Head||Beckford Street, East Avenue, Free Zone, Independence City|
|X86||City Centre to Spanish Town||Spanish Town Road, Marcus Garvey Drive|
|91||City Centre to Duhaney Park||Three Miles, Four Miles, Weymouth Drive|
|92||City Centre to Patrick City||Spanish Town Road, Weymouth Drive|
|93||City Centre to Six Miles||Cross Roads, Half Way Tree, Washington Boulevard|
|94||Cross Roads to Washington Gardens||Half Way Tree, Washington Boulevard|
|95||Cross Roads to Duhaney Park||Half Way Tree, Washington Boulevard|
|X97||City Centre to Norman Manley Airport||Windward Road, Harbour Head, Palisadoes Road|
|X98||City Centre to Bull Bay||Windward Road, Harbour Head, Seven Miles|
|X99||City Centre to Port Royal||Windward Road, Harbour Head, Palisadoes Road, Norman Manley Airport|
- "History of Jamaica Public Service Company Limited".
- Last Trams, The Daily Gleaner, August 7th, 1948. Kingston, Jamaica
- Last Trams, The Daily Gleaner, August 7th, 1948.
- House Rejects Move for Transport Experts, The Daily Gleaner, December 28th, 1950. Kingston, Jamaica.
- Has Jamaica Utilities Failed? The Daily Gleaner, May 2nd, 1953, Kingston, Jamaica
- New Bus Co. takes over December 15, The Daily Gleaner, July 9th, 1953, Kingston, Jamaica.
- Gayle, Dennis John (2001). Privatization and Deregulation in Global Perspective, p. 236. Quorum Books, Westport, Connecticut. ISBN 0899304192.
- Button, Kenneth J., Hensher, David A. (2001). Handbook of Transport Systems and Traffic Control, p. 273. Emerald Group Publishers, Bingley, UK. ISBN 0080435955.
- (1979). Statistical Yearbook of Jamaica 1979., p. 413. Jamaica. Department of Statistics.
- Bouin, O., Michalet, Ch.-A., (1991). Rebalancing the Public and Private Sectors: Developing Country Experience, p. 250. OECD Publishing, Paris. ISBN 9264134409.
- Cervero, Robert. (2004-01). Informal Transport in the Developing World, p. 203. United Nations Publishers. ISBN 9211314534.
- JOS cuts Service Monday in Closing Down Plan, The Daily Gleaner, August 27th, 1983, Kingston, Jamaica.
- JOS Routes and Frequencies, Page 3, The Sunday Gleaner, April 13th 1980, Kingson Jamaica.