Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model Yasmin M. Chong Transed 2012 19th September, 2012
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model Setting the context: • Globalization and Jamaica • Transport and Economic Growth • Jamaican transport model • agriculture and transport • education and transport • Realizing universal access to transport for RRs • Strategic policy principles and objectives • The way ahead
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelGlobalization and Jamaica • Jamaica has experienced profound economic adjustments over the past thirty years. • The resulting impact has been the disappearance of inefficient industries, weakened national decision-making processes and the remaining productive sectors forced to compete internationally with the industrialized and developed countries. • 1970s into the early 1980s, benefits accrued from favourable trade terms and agreements and business was conducted under a severely restricted financial regime., • Late 1980s and well into the 1990s, significant move towards a full liberalized market, unrestricted capital controls and easing foreign exchange limitations. These moves were made to produce investment opportunities and economic growth. • The expected outcomes were not realized and the weakened state faced challenges in providing a basic yet sound infrastructure, an educated work force, investment inflows, a contracting economy, macro-economic turbulence and periods of social instability.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model…………….Globalization and Jamaica • Additionally, the collapse of the local banking sector presented the worst challenges along with those external risks associated with the global economic system. This hampered the adjustment process as the crisis was resolved at great expense to the public purse but was necessary to prevent a loss of confidence in the country’s financial system and to minimize capital flight. • Jamaica’s recovery has been slow, recording lower than expected growth due to a contracted manufacturing base, high unemployment and rising poverty levels. • Nevertheless, very positive progress has been made in the ICT, tourism and transport infrastructure, where growth has been steady even during the current recessionary period. • The Government continues to play the facilitator-role with the private sector taking the lead role. The model focuses on economic reform to allow for integration in the global economy and also on creating the infrastructure and sustainable policy framework to stimulate private sector investment. Transport infrastructure, tourism, education and ICT have been identified as the strategic growth and development areas and those which will support the current re-development of the productive sectors such as agriculture.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model…………….Globalization and Jamaica • After twenty years of reforms, deliberate efforts at strengthening an integrative policy environment and building out some of the necessary infrastructure, investment flows have been steadily improving. The economy remains relative stable but fragile given the country’s debt situation. • There has been the recognition that the process must be accelerated and the country’s assets leveraged in order to achieve the goals set out in…… • Vision 2030 Jamaica, National Development Plan, the roadmap for making Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and conduct business.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelThe Jamaican Transport Model • Facilitates access to the socio-economic life of the island’s almost 3 million residents by (a) sustaining trade, ensuring employment, health, education and basic needs for citizens, b) supports the socio-economic development of the country as a whole and c) is the underpinning element for the development of priority industries. • Multi-modal transportation system consists of: • One of the densest road networks in the world. PPPs in highway/road construction – Highway 2000 and JDIP • Mainline railway system • Large domestic fleet of private vehicles, trucks, buses and taxis in addition to a large fleet of Government-owned and operated public passenger buses. • Three international airports and three domestic aerodromes • Ten specialized seaports and three deep-water ports
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model……………The Jamaican Transport Model • In 2010, the transportation sector accounted for the employment and incomes of close to 9% of the local workforce. • Activities in this economic segment are geared towards achieving the objectives outlined in two important policy documents: Vision 2030 Jamaica – Outcome #9, Strong Economic Infrastructure and the 2009 National Transport Policy. • Policy objectives / developmental priorities speak to: • Increasing Jamaica’s competitiveness • Lowering transport logistics costs • Fostering economic growth • Underpin continued human development through increased investments • Increased productivity • Poverty aleviation • Enhanced access to education • Support the further development of rural areas
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelAgriculture and Transport • The sector has experienced some decline over the years but still accounts for on average, about 5% of GDP and is a major contributor to export earnings. The country has developed an enviable reputation for its coffee, rum, bananas, sugar and other agro-based products. • Largest employer of labour in rural areas and employs about 18.7% of the total labour force. Half of the population live in rural areas and approximately 80% of the poorest groups is rural. • For Jamaica, agriculture is viewed as the dominant industry in the rural economy. Income inflows are unpredictable owing to among other things, the vagaries of nature, antiquated methodologies and technology and limited access to competitive markets. • The clear deduction therefore is that agriculture’s performance is plagued with access and mobility issues which are aggravated by the stark reality that the sector is poorly served with transportation services. • Transport services are inadequate due a lack of affordable and appropriate infrastructure and means of transport, inefficient supply of inputs and limited access to competitive markets.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model……………Agriculture and Transport • Much of the country’s productive capacity is grossly underutilized and faces challenges such as cost, reliability, product quality and delivery to the market, all rooted in the poor and unregulated transport conditions which exist in the rural agricultural areas. • Investment in transport infrastructure is fundamental to providing access for farmers to local and export markets, stimulate rural non-farm economy, invigorate rural towns and villages, increase consumer demand and to facilitate the integration of rural areas into the domestic and international economies. For example, Jamaica’s tourism industry is a large consumer of agricultural products and services, which should provide the perfect supply opportunity for the local agricultural industry. This synergy has not materialized due to reliability and cost factors and is directly related to poor road conditions and the lack of a sufficient number of logistics plant. • Improvements in transport are therefore critical for rural development and poverty alleviation. In 2010, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) embarked on a programme to improve and rationalize the accessibility of agri-feeder roads based on a pre-determined set of criteria.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelEducation and Transport • Jamaica’s inherited British education system has been adapted to reflect more local relevance and with regional cooperation and a Caribbean approach to education, the most obvious result was the implementation of internationally-accredited regional external examinations. • The formal system is supported by the GOJ with participation from the private sector, Churches and Trusts and caters to well over 800,000 students at all levels. Private schools also exist in the system. • Education up to the secondary level is FREE for all Jamaican citizens and cost-sharing at the tertiary level and for the FY2010-2011, some 14% of the national budget was allocated to education. • Education and training are recognized as key indicators of a country’s competitiveness and an important determinant of the country’s stage of economic development and potential for future growth. An investment in education is therefore critical in enabling the creation of a competitive labour pool. Vision 2030 Jamaica education strategy is to provide universal access to and equal opportunity in education and training for all, where “every child can learn, every child must learn”.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport Model…………….Education and Transport • Universal access to primary and secondary education has been achieved however the system has been beset by problems of quality and absenteeism in rural areas. • Enrollment in schools and training institutions meet national standards, but rural children face significant challenges in attending schools as opposed to their urban counterparts. Rural average daily attendance is approximately 65% as against the national average of 92.5%. • Additionally, distance-related obstacles of nutrition and transport have been identified as major impediments to improving access to education and training for rural students. • The GOJ implemented programmes in response to this problem – e.g. primary schools’ breakfast feeding programmes - and attendance has improved however absenteeism remains at unacceptable levels in rural areas. What this means therefore is that the cost of education in rural areas is higher due to an absence of adequate transportation infrastructure, the inventory and location of schools being disproportionate to the population distribution and poor road conditions result in increased costs of other basic social needs , uniforms, lunch, shoes.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelRealizing Universal Access to Transport for Rural Residents • Strategic Policy Principles and Objectives: • increase Jamaica’s competitiveness through reduced transportation costs • establish a modern, efficient, sustainable multi-modal transport system • providing equal access to transport for the population • fostering economic growth and human development • Substantial progress has been made, the sector continues to be plagued by issues such as poor road maintenance, road safety, public transport system, standards and the environment, all of which present challenges for rural residents.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelRealizing Universal Access to Transport for Rural Residents • The Way Ahead: • The prosperity of the Jamaican economy depends largely on the country’s return to higher levels of productivity and growth through education/training and agricultural development. • It is now a foregone conclusion that until higher investments in transportation infrastructure is made a major developmental priority for Jamaica, the country may find it difficult to achieve sustainable levels of growth and poverty eradication. • For rural areas, both production and consumption are positively affected by improved transport infrastructure. The impact of transport is measured by access to agricultural lands and market accessibility. Transport deficiencies increase the cost of inputs and production, limits productivity, affects efficiency in marketing, stymies labour mobility and impedes entrepreneurial and income-generating activities. • This produces on result – fewer opportunities for higher incomes, increased incidence of poverty and reduced personal welfare.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelRealizing Universal Access to Transport for Rural Residents • The Way Ahead: • Improvements in transportation infrastructure provides increased access to necessary social services such as education, training and healthcare – important ingredients in poverty alleviation and human capital development. • Labour productivity and mobility are positively influenced by improved access to transportation. The challenge is to identify the most appropriate approach to realizing access and mobility for rural areas within the context of a national multi-modal system in an economy grappling with socio-economic realities.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelRealizing Universal Access to Transport for Rural Residents • The Way Ahead: • Recommendation: Hub-and-Spoke Design (HSD) which involves the integration of three modes: i) road upgrade, rehabilitation and maintenance; ii) public transportation hubs for major towns across rural parishes and iii) PPP investment and utilization of the railway and the public bus service for rural towns and villages.
Realizing Universal Access and Mobility for Jamaican Rural Residents in a Multi-Modal Transport ModelRealizing Universal Access to Transport for Rural Residents For Jamaica to increase growth, it is imperative that a modern, efficient and affordable transport system be made available to rural communities, the bedrock of production in Jamaica. Improved transportation access would spur efficiencies in agricultural production, connect rural areas to domestic and export markets, create wealth, reduce poverty, enhance economic growth and position Jamaica to realize its vision as the place of choice to live, work, raise families and conduct business.