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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has acquired 35 new buses, bringing its fleet of vehicles to just over 500.
  • The new vehicles have been operational since September 5, while the refurbished buses are to be licensed and registered for road use within a few weeks.
  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Michael Henry, said the provision of the new and refurbished vehicles is part of sustained efforts by the state-run JUTC to improve service to commuters across the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has acquired 35 new buses, bringing its fleet of vehicles to just over 500.

The Chinese-made buses, procured at a cost of $500 million, were officially handed over on Saturday (September 24) at the JUTC Training Depot on Lyndhurst Road in Kingston.

Additionally, four buses, which were refurbished by the JUTC’s Engineering Department, were unveiled during the ceremony.

The new vehicles have been operational since September 5, while the refurbished buses are to be licensed and registered for road use within a few weeks.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Michael Henry, said the provision of the new and refurbished vehicles is part of sustained efforts by the state-run JUTC to improve service to commuters across the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).

He informed that the Golden Dragon vehicles will primarily serve the hilly rural St. Andrew areas.

The buses, which operate from the Rockfort Depot, traverse four basic routes: Number 52 from Lawrence Tavern to Kingston; Number 53 from Half-Way Tree to Above Rocks; Number 54 from Half-Way Tree to Border; and Number 61, which runs from downtown to Gordon Town.

Managing Director for the JUTC, Paul Abrahams, said the demand for service in these areas is extremely high, with between 8,000 to 10,000 passengers traversing these routes daily.

“The buses are 39-seaters. They are a bit smaller than the regular Volvo buses. They are built to the specifications drafted by the JUTC engineering department… to handle the winding, hilly terrain,” he informed.

China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency, Niu Qingbao, who attended the handover ceremony, said the Chinese government was happy to assist in the acquisition of the buses, which he noted will greatly enhance the public transport sector.

The Government is to spend $1.3 billion this fiscal year to increase the fleet of JUTC buses.

Maintenance of the new vehicles will be carried out by Golden Dragon engineers for one year, during which time JUTC technicians will be trained.