Sat | Sep 24, 2016

Money shortage slows new-bus plans

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Government has scaled back its ambitious plan to add 200 new buses to the fleet of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

Instead, 103 new buses will be imported starting next month, with three of the buses offering specialised service to members of the disabled community.

Transport Minister Mike Henry says a lack of money has forced the Government to slow down its plan to boost the JUTC fleet with new buses.

"Because of budgetary constraints, the Government has opted to delay by a year the acquisition of 100 of the 200 new buses which were earmarked for the JUTC this budget year," Henry said in a release yesterday.

He said the shortfall in new units is to be augmented by the output from "a very successful internal bus rehabilitation programme and continued aggressive cost-cutting measures".

According to Henry, the general bus service within the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) is also expected to improve soon, as the JUTC has completed the process of filling the 164 slots for individual sub-franchise contractors to replace the former National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) operators.

"The new arrangements, which facilitate better monitoring and supervision of the contractors, are to come on stream shortly," Henry said.

Late last year, the Government announced that it would not be renewing the contract of the NTCS which had the subfranchise to operate on several routes in the KMTR.

Instead, it invited applicants to operate the routes, with several persons submitting applications.