The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is currently running advertisements in the media, appealing to lay preachers who attempt to win souls on the state-run buses to discontinue the practice.
JUTC's Communications Manager Cecil Thoms told The Gleaner yesterday that it is not the first attempt at getting the preachers to comply with the request, but they have never put out ads on the issue before.
"We have other public messages in the media about other issues, but we have actually upped our marketing and public relations campaign against preaching," Thoms said. "We have been receiving several complaints from our commuters that they have a challenge with persons disturbing them when they are tired coming from work.
"We are not against winning souls for Christ, but we are against them doing it on our buses. If we allow Christians to engage in this practice, should we not allow Rastafarians, Muslims and other groups to preach on the bus? We are asking that they not do it," Thoms said.
He explained that the ads are also in an attempt to prevent conflict on the buses.
"Sometimes, because of how these lay preachers behave, they end up in arguments with some of the commuters. We don't want that," declared Thoms. "When people have had a long day at work, they really do not want to be bombarded with people shouting and carrying on," he said.
It was made illegal in 2006. Any tambourine or loud noise in public-passenger vehicles constitutes improper conduct on a PPV will result in a charge," as noted, the fine extends from a minimum of $2,000 JMD.
The JUTC executive said while there have been no charges initiated against these preachers, dozens of persons have been warned by JUTC enforcement officers who patrol the buses on a regular basis.
"What they (preachers) don't understand is that some persons find it very annoying, very offensive. Once you are in the bus and the windows and doors are closed you become a captive to those persons,"
"We have WiFi on the buses and some people want to use it to study and so on, but they can't. Some people complain that when the people are preaching over them it is like rain is falling".