Efforts are being made to significantly improve the public passenger transportation system this financial year, through a $2.2 billion allocation to purchase new buses.
Details of the project are outlined in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, currently being reviewed by the Standing Finance Committee of the House.
The programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, will see some $2.19 billion being allocated to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).
Approximately $2.14 billion of this sum will be used to purchase buses to service routes across the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR). This is expected to be supported by the JUTC’s ongoing bus maintenance programme, for which another $50 million has been earmarked.
Just over $18 million has been allocated to offset the operational expenses for the delivery of public transportation services in the Montego Bay Metro Region, while the remaining $15 million will finance a rural bus study.
Implementation of the study will entail the engagement of a consultant to undertake an assessment of the transportation system serving students in rural areas.
This exercise will, among other things, identify and analyze challenges associated with the existing system; ensure equity in the service provided by the government for students; and prepare a rural bus strategy and implementation plan.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter