Fri | May 26, 2017

JUTC to enter tour market

Published:Monday | April 27, 2015 | 4:00 AMJerome Reynolds
Ten new Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses, that may soon hit the road, parked at an open lot on Lady Musgrave Road in St Andrew.

The state-owned bus company, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), is looking to spread its wings into the travel and tours market as part of efforts to increase revenue for the ailing bus company.

JUTC Managing Director Colin Campbell told The Gleaner last week that the bus company is holding talks with major players in the tour and cruise ship industry to offer a tour service of Kingston.

Campbell said the service would see cruise ship passengers being taken from the Ocho Rios Pier in St Ann on a guided historic and leisure tour of the capital city.

He said passengers would be shuttled on new premium buses, which are to be introduced to the JUTC's fleet.

"Now that the highway is going in to St Ann, we are talking to some of the tour people who are interested in partnering with us to have Kingston city tours. We have brought in top-end, luxury buses, which we will be putting in the market next month, and that will enable us to offer some more premium service," Campbell said.

The JUTC head said the new service would be marketed under the brand 'JUTC Tours'. He said cruise passengers would be taken to popular landmarks and other areas of interest in Kingston.

"For example, we are thinking about places like the Bob Marley Museum, [Trench Town] culture yard, the University of the West Indies, The Gleaner Company, and places like that. Passengers will get to have a nice time in Kingston, and we will ensure that they are brought back to the ship in time," Campbell said.

In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament last week, Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies told the House of Representatives that the JUTC is putting strategies in place to increase its annual revenue from $5.1 billion to $7.4 billion over the next three years.

Davies pointed out that among the strategies on the agenda are increasing new business through internal and external bus advertising and the offering of a public sector SmarterCard service.