- The JUTC's seating capacity has been increased by 3,500 with the addition of 73 new Volvo buses to its fleet.
- Sixty-nine of the buses will be placed in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), while four will be deployed to Montego Bay Metro.
- The addition of the customised buses is part of Government’s bid to address the needs of the physically challenged community with regards to public transportation.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC) seating capacity has been increased by 3,500 with the addition of 73 new Volvo buses to its fleet.
Sixty-nine of the buses will be placed in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), while four will be deployed to Montego Bay Metro.
The units for the KMTR will be allocated across the Spanish Town, Portmore, and Rockfort JUTC depots. Four of the units have been customized to cater to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Addressing the handing over ceremony at Parking Lot on Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston on Thursday, May 8, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies said the expansion of the fleet will put the company in a better position to live up to its mandate for the KMTR.
He noted that the addition of the customised buses is part of Government’s bid to address the needs of the physically challenged community with regards to public transportation.
“These 73 buses represent a continuation of the transformation of the service,” he said, adding that the team at the Ministry is working to ensure that the company delivers first world service.
He noted that the company is committed to performing beyond the expectation of the Jamaican population as it continues to play a critical role in the social and economic development of the country.
Managing Director, JUTC, Colin Campbell said with these additional buses, the JUTC now has approximately 24,000 seats available for commuters in the KMTR.
“Together with our sub-franchise holders who are providing in excess of 5,000 seats, there should be no reason why there is not a reliable, safe, and cost effective service in the KMTR,” he added.
He noted that new seats will also help to maintain stability in the daily run out of 400 units in the KMTR, adding that this will be increased to 450 on September 1, for the back-to-school period.
The new seats bring the company closer to its target of providing 25,000 passenger seats for commuters in the KMTR.
“That is not only a requirement of our licence but also a requirement for proper, reliable, comfortable service for all our passengers,” he said.
He informed that after the company receives another batch of 27 buses next year, a re-examination of the fleet will be undertaken to determine which of the older units will be taken out of service.
“Our aim by 2016 is to have 27,500 seats in JUTC so that, (we may be able to provide) on our own the (required) service and have some level of spare (seating capacity). Then we will work with our sub-franchise holders on certain corridors and communities where the size of these buses makes it a little difficult for the JUTC to operate,” he said.
The 73 units represent the fifth tranche of the 230 units, which the Government will receive, through an agreement made in 2010 with Belgian manufacturer, VDL Jonckheere. The acquisition of the units is being facilitated under a €100 million programme, being implemented with the assistance of the Belgian Government.