JUTC to roll out 73 buses
Andrew Harris, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is expected to roll out 73 buses by the ending of this month, as it gears towards achieving its target of moving 63 million passengers this year.
The JUTC, according to the Managing Director Collin Campbell, is on its way to making the transport company a First World travel experience. He was speaking after the handover ceremony of the buses, at the Digicel parking lot, Lady Musgrave Road, yesterday. The company has almost completed its agreement with the Belgium based company VDL, to supply 230 Volvo buses, plus technical assistance, spare parts and tools. Yesterday was the fourth delivery of buses and they are expecting to receive the remaining 27 by 2015.
Four of the 73 buses to come by month end, will be sent to the Montego Bay region and the remaining 69 will stay in Kingston. Four of those 69 buses are specially designed and will be serving the physically challenged. They are also equipped to safely and comfortably transport persons in wheel chairs.
"We are moving to ensure that the quality and standards of the service is maintained," said Campbell.
"We instituted effectively on the first of April a reform programme which required not only the JUTC to do certain things, but also the contractors who work along aside the JUTC," he added. "So we are moving towards the standards we set and have been reviewing the programme daily."
Preparing for expansion
Campbell said that the JUTC was working to make perfect the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), before they can expand to other areas.
"What we are doing is to make sure that we are putting the organisation in the position where we can really become a Jamaica Transit Company, rather than a Kingston Transit Company, so our posture now is to perfect the KMTR, so in any eventuality, we can move to other towns and cities in Jamaica," he said.
He is hoping that with the new buses, the JUTC can increase the number of passengers that travel on the buses yearly.
"The JUTC at its height in 1998 carried 91 million passengers. Over the years it has declined as the fleet has declined. What we are doing now is to rebuild the fleet and increase passenger count." He added that "This year, we are targeting 63 million passengers, which will see us increasing by 12 million, from the 51 million passengers we carried last year."