Fri | Jan 20, 2017

JUTC keeps watch on petrol

Published:Saturday | August 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Crowds gather outside the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) outlet at East Parade, downtown Kingston, yesterday to purchase Smarter Cards, which are used for payment on the company's buses, ahead of Monday's reopening of schools. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Faced with a fuel bill of $38 million per week to operate its fleet (with a projected increase to $48 million on September 1), the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has introduced a fuel monitoring mechanism to deter theft and misuse of the low-sulphur diesel needed for operation.

Managing director of the state-run bus company, Colin Campbell, said the increase was inevitable because of additional resources that will be used at the start of the 2014/2015 school term. "Because of our increased bus run-out come September 1, we have to increase our fuel purchases. Come September 1, our fuel cost will jump by about $10 million per week," he said.

TIGHTER CONTROL

A fuel control officer has been brought on board to supervise the dispensing of fuel and enhance record keeping. "We have a much tighter control these days. We now have on board a fuel control officer who monitors and manages the fuel policy of the JUTC," Campbell added.

"Part of the problem that we had before, (was that) whereas we had well documented policies, they were not always observed. The dispensing of fuel is now more closely aligned with the kilometres required for that bus to do," Campbell noted.

"Before, to a certain extent, we used to just put fuel in vehicles. If fuel is stolen in that regime, it will be much more easily picked up because we don't store fuel in bus tanks anymore, we store fuel underground."

The JUTC recently revealed that fuel cost the company $685,136,004 for the period April to July this year compared with $500,655,127 for the same period last year.