Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Asphalt shortage to ease within a week - Montague

Published:Thursday | August 9, 2018 | 11:21 AM
Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague (centre), is greeted by Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, Paul Abrahams (left), before his bus ride to observe ongoing road improvements from Three Miles to Half-Way Tree in St Andrew, on August 8, 2018. Looking on is Superintendent Aaron Fletcher of the Hunts Bay Police Station - Contributed photo

Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague says the shortage of asphalt is to ease within a week as the state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam, which produces the asphalt used in the construction of roads, has resumed production.

The lack of asphalt has impacted road resurfacing operations across sections of the island.

This has led to complaints by motorists about poor road conditions.

“Petrojam was on a routine maintenance break, so the plant was not producing much [asphalt]. They are now back in operation and within a couple of days or a week, adequate supplies will be made available,” Montague said.

Montague was speaking at a press conference at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew yesterday following his ride on a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus to gain first-hand experience of the challenges faced by the public and operators due to ongoing road works from Three Miles to Half-Way Tree.

He indicated that plans are to be instituted for the roll-out of a monitoring system that will include a closed-circuit television system to increase bus safety, a fare counter and a passenger counter.

“The system will be able to monitor the buses so that we can reduce idling of the units. We have situations where buses are parked for two to three hours idling, which is wasting gas and affecting our bottom line,” he said.

“Additionally, we will be introducing a new lubricant system that will reduce the amount of oil that we use; and help to filter and reuse oils, which will help to save the bottom line so that we improve the viability of the company,” Montague added.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the JUTC Paul Abrahams said that the bus company will roll out its full complement of 430 buses for the new school term in September. 

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