Tue | Jun 2, 2020

JUTC projects $11b net loss for 2020-21 fiscal year

Published:Wednesday | February 12, 2020 | 12:27 AM
Commuters prepare to board a JUTC bus that plies the Spanish Town to Half-Way Tree route.
Commuters prepare to board a JUTC bus that plies the Spanish Town to Half-Way Tree route.

The cash-strapped Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is projecting a whopping $11.1 billion net operating loss for the 2020-21 fiscal year, despite the expectation that it will beat its $9.1 billion projection for the current fiscal year by almost $5 billion.

There is an estimated net loss of $4.3 billion for the current fiscal year.

The Jamaica Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year ending March 2021, tabled yesterday in the House of Representatives, indicates that the JUTC is projecting total operating expenses of $12.5 billion, dwarfing the $4.5 billion income expected to be made over the period.

The state-owned company’s fuel costs are forecast to increase by some $452 million to $2.7 billion, while toll expenses are expected to surge from $266 million to $346 million.

Staff cost is expected to move from $2.9 billion to $3.7 billion.

It is also projected that repairs to buses will cost the company some $2.7 billion for 2020-2021 compared to the estimated $1.8 billion for the current fiscal year.

The Government subvention to the state-owned company, however, is expected to fall to $5.3 billion for 2020-2021 compared to the $6.6 billion it received for the current financial year.

To increase operational efficiency, the JUTC will complete its implementation of an oil filtration system in the remaining 150 of 300 buses, which is expected to improve the efficiency and operational life of bus engines.

The system was implemented in 150 buses in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The bus company will also refurbish 15 damaged buses to facilitate their return to service.

The JUTC will enhance its fleet management and bus tracking system to provide real-time information to assist with efficient decision-making and service delivery.

The company will also improve the fare system to support the efficient collection of revenue and increase the fleet of buses by 50.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com