Jamaica Gleaner Online TODAY'S ISSUE
Feb 18, 2000

Franklin Johnston is new chairman of JUTC

Dr. Franklin Johnston

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, Dr. Franklin Johnston has replaced businessman Norton Hinds as chairman of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

Also, Mr. Sterling Soares, economist, replaces Commander John McFarlane on the board of the government-owned JUTC. The appointments became effective on Tuesday.

Dr. Peter Phillips, Transport and Works Minister, in announcing the changes, said they were another step in the strengthening of the bus company's management structure. "We need to increase the capabilities of the JUTC to ensure that it can manage the expanded public passenger transport service in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) effectively," he said.

There was a management shake-up at the JUTC last year as the government restructured the operations of the company, only months after it had acquired the Eastern Franchise. The changes were made in preparation for the government's acquisition of the franchises controlled by Ezroy Millwood's National Transport Co-operative (NTCS) and Arthur Chin's Conurban Transit Ltd.

Managing partner

Dr. Johnston, the new JUTC chairman, is a managing partner at Teape Johnson management consultants, and a former consulting partner with KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Soares is managing director of Antillean Import-Export Company Ltd., and also serves as a director of Solatt Ltd. and Ridgefield Investment Ltd.

Mr. Hinds is the current chairman of the Transport Authority (TA), and Commander McFarlane is managing director. Dr. Phillips said both men had made significant contributions to the JUTC. However, he said, the changes were aimed at making a distinction between the operations of the bus company and the TA. "I am concerned that there ought to be a very clear separation of the roles and transactions between the Transport Authority and the JUTC," the minister was quoted as saying in a press release.

Concerns had been raised over the two entities sharing key personnel given the fact that the JUTC has recently applied to the TA for an increase in bus fares.

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