JUTC to get new buses
Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague says new buses will be acquired for the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).
“A project is being prepared for presentation to the Public Investment Management Secretariat for consideration. We are preparing to purchase new buses,” he said.
He was making his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Montague said that 15 of the 18 articulated buses would be refurbished, noting that the ministry had received the National Contracts Commission ‘no objection’ letter for the undertaking, and Cabinet had given its go-ahead.
Turning to other developments, Montague said that the JUTC is close to concluding a 15-month negotiation on a new mobile money fare collection system, which will enable passengers to purchase their bus fare by using their smartphone.
He noted further that the JUTC is completing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Portmore.
“We have, at our depot, the five brand new LNG buses that will be used as a pilot. We are hoping to get them in service during the summer,” Montague said.
Also, almost 200 buses have been fitted with Wi-Fi, thus enhancing the riding experience and creating a revenue stream.
Montague told the House that the JUTC is in preliminary discussions with a transport operator who wants to be a sub-franchise holder for four of the routes in Portmore.
“If these talks are successful, 25 buses will be introduced into the system. We are excited about this. We are also offering 225 new sub-franchise routes to the JUTC,” he said.
In addition, he said that 60 new drivers have been employed and trained, and 50 more will undergo training.
“We will soon employ more inspectors and security personnel. We have employed more mechanics and are training more,” Montague said, adding that metal railings will be installed in buses to protect drivers.