Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Bus operators decide next move in latest battle with the state-owned JUTC

Published:Sunday | September 28, 2014 | 12:28 PM

Transport operators will tomorrow determine their response to what they claim is the Jamaica Urban Transit Company's (JUTC) decision to remove coaster bus operators from its sub-franchise system come March 2015.



President of the Jamaica Association of Transport Operators and Owners (JATOO), Edgerton Newman, says operators were told of the JUTC's decision at a meeting with the company last Thursday.



But he says the transport operators' response to the JUTC's move will be dependent on the Supreme Court's ruling in a case filed by operators against the Government. The judgement is to be handed down tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 o' clock.



The Rural Transit Company Limited had filed suits against the Transport Authority, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the Office of Utilities Regulations, the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General.



The operators claimed, among other things, that the Transport Authority acted illegally when it barred rural operators from picking up passengers in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR). They are also challenging the decision of the JUTC to commandeer a section of the Mandela Highway for exclusive use by its buses.



In addition, they are contesting JUTC's decision to discontinue the sub-franchise licences of some operators in reclaiming routes in the KMTR.



Newman says operators will be holding a meeting at the Caenwood Centre in Kingston tomorrow to discuss the JUTC's decision that was announced on Thursday. He says JATOO will earnestly fight the decision, which will affect some 10 per cent of its membership.



According to Newman, operators who were granted sub-franchise licences were told that they would receive contracts for up to four years.



He says JATOO will be seeking the intervention of the Minister of Transport and Works Dr Omar Davies and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.



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