JUTC to get new buses

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Minister of Transport and Mining 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.

The minister was making his contribution in the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said 15 of the 18 extra-long buses will be refurbished, noting that the ministry has received the National Contracts Commission (NCC) ‘no objection’ letter for the undertaking, and Cabinet has given its go ahead.

Meanwhile, 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, he said almost 200 buses have been fitted with Wi-Fi, thus enhancing the riding experience and creating a revenue stream.

Minister 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 noted 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.


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