- JUTC will add 69 new Volvo buses to its fleet by month end, providing an additional 3,657 passenger seats.
- A total of 73 buses are expected to arrive in the island from Belgium over the next few weeks.
- Managing Director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell says the additional seats will further bolster the bus company’s ability to meet service demand.
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will add 69 new Volvo buses to its fleet by month end, providing an additional 3,657 passenger seats.
A total of 73 buses are expected to arrive in the island from Belgium over the next few weeks, 69 of which will remain in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), while four will be sent to the Montego-Bay Metro Bus Company.
Managing Director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell says the additional seats will further bolster the bus company’s ability to meet service demand, especially in light of the reformed sub-franchise system, which took effect April 1.
“With a combination of what we have here in Jamaica, and what we have restored through maintenance and parts importation, we will have some 500 JUTC buses to run in the franchise by the month of May,” the Managing Director said.
He was addressing journalists at a press briefing held at the JUTC’s Twickenham Park offices in St. Catherine on Tuesday, April 1.
Mr. Campbell also informed that 404 buses were rolled out at the start of the new system, which saw the rationalisation of a number of bus routes in the KMTR. He said this was the highest number of buses to be rolled out at any one time in a decade.
In addition some 5,189 passenger seats have been contracted to sub-franchise operators, and 74 private-operator buses have been approved by the Island Traffic Authority (ITA), as of Tuesday.
He said it is expected that by April 8, the number of approved private-operator buses will increase significantly.
“Together with our buses, this meant that we have met our license requirements of 25,000 seats per day in the KMTR,” Mr. Campbell informed.
Mr. Campbell further informed that since last year, the JUTC imported 18 containers of parts, which means that the company now has adequate parts to maintain all its buses.
“We have been able to bring up our running numbers to the region of 490 buses, so we are in a position to roll out everyday sufficient numbers to maintain our franchise,” he stated.
The bus company has also engaged additional maintenance staff and two expert mechanics and service managers, to ensure the optimal maintenance of its units.
In addition the JUTC is seeking to add 200 bus drivers to its team. “Our policy is two and half drivers per bus, so when we bring in new buses, it means that we will have to ramp up our driver cohort in order to properly service the commuters,” he stated.
Mr. Campbell said the first batch of 51 drivers started this week, noting that the company is still seeking to employ an additional 149 drivers.
“We used to have buses with both drivers and conductors, now most of our buses are single-operator, so we are now training some of the conductors to take up driver positions,” he informed.