JUTC claims dip in fuel usage
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says it has seen an improvement in fuel efficiency of 17 per cent since the introduction of the contra-flow bus lane on Mandela Highway in November 2013. The company's deputy managing director in charge of operations, Kirk Finnikin, pointed out that prior to the introduction of the bus lane, 70 of the company's buses would experience delays in traffic during the peak period. "The constant start and stop of the vehicles, each carrying at least 80 passengers, tends to use more fuel. Moving the weight of such a large number of persons is very difficult and uses more fuel," he said.
Finnikin said the improvement in fuel consumption was significant as the JUTC uses up to eight per cent of oil imports.
He noted that operating the contra-flow bus lane resulted from a desire to give priority to passengers moving from Spanish Town into the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR). He said these passengers now reach their destination up to 30 minutes faster than before. "Since November 2013, we have been monitoring the performance of the bus lane and we are pleased with what we have been able to achieve. We are now looking at asking the National Works Agency to replicate bus lanes in other parts of the KMTR in order to have even fewer costs to the Government and the taxpayers of Jamaica," he said.
The west-bound lanes of the
dual carriageway along Mandela Highway have been converted to two-way traffic every morning between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., and JUTC buses travel along the corridor using the designated lane.
The conversion to two-way traffic begins at Caymanas Bay and ends at the entrance to Plantation Heights.