Fri | Apr 20, 2018

JUTC faces $7b in losses

Published:Saturday | February 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
For the new fiscal year, the bus company’s losses from operations are expected to surge past the $7 billion mark. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year the JUTC racked up operating losses amounting to $3.1 billion.

The beleaguered state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) is projecting a dramatic increase in its loss from operations for the new financial year 2018-2019.

For the new fiscal year, the bus company's losses from operations are expected to surge past the $7 billion mark. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the JUTC racked up operating losses amounting to $3.1 billion.

A review of the company's income statement in the Jamaica Public Bodies, which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday, revealed that the JUTC's fuel cost is projected to climb from $2.5 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year compared with $3.7 billion this year.

The state-owned bus company's staff cost is forecast to move from $2.9 billion to $3.3 billion, which may reflect a proposed negotiated wage increase this year.

At the same time, the JUTC's repairs and maintenance costs are set to increase from $1.5 billion last fiscal year to a little more than $2 billion in 2018-2019.

The state-owned bus company's operational plan for the new financial year assumes an available fleet of 473 buses to achieve an average daily run out of 425 buses.

The priority plans for the company this year include outsourcing of accident investigations to improve effectiveness and reduce the cost of claims and increasing the number of Smarter Card Point of Sales locations by 99 outlets for greater commuter access to recharge cards through third-party contractors.

Additionally, the JUTC will assume direct management of the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre and downtown Parade location to minimise cost and improve operational logistics.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com