JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), in a release Friday, has responded to claims which were attributed to National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) in an article published in the Gleaner last Sunday, concerning the future relationship between the Co-operative and the JUTC.
The JUTC release read:
In response to claims attributed to the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) in an article in the Gleaner last Sunday, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) wishes to state the following:
The Ministry of Transport and Works, pursuant to a decision of the Cabinet, advised the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) earlier this year of the Government’s requirement for the society to wind up its operations by December 2, 2009. The move will leave the JUTC responsible for operating, or making arrangements for bus operations on a number of additional routes within the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) which are currently being serviced by the NTCS.
The NTCS was advised that in winding up its operations, it is required to pay any outstanding fees applicable up to December 2 or any earlier date it ceases operations, under its existing sub-franchise arrangements with the JUTC. In that regard, the JUTC first communicated to the NTCS the amount to be paid for the year running from April 1, 2008 to March 1, 2009. Payment of that amount has not been completed.
The total payments made by the NTCS since April 1, 2008, up to September 29, 2009, amount to $31,150,800. This amount covers the period April 2008 to December 2008. At the current rate of $13,600 per seat per bus, which has remained unchanged for some time, the NTCS fees, which are to be made to the Transport Authority, amount to $38,073,200 for the period January 1, 2009 to December 2, 2009. None of this amount has so far been paid. This is despite both verbal and written correspondence with the NTCS re the need for payment of the fees, which are mandatory for the society to operate lawfully.
While the NTCS head, Mr. Ezroy Millwood, was quoted in the article as saying the amounts owed for this year were not known to the society, the NTCS clearly knows the figures involved because it has been contesting them, hence the reported claim was entirely without foundation.
It is interesting that while the NTCS has paid no fee for over nine months of its operation so far this year, it is unlikely that its membership has not been paying the society for individual sub-franchise licences for the same period. The question to be asked of Mr. Millwood, therefore, is how much has the NTCS collected from its members for this year so far, and why is it that the society is collecting franchise fees from its membership but not paying its own franchise fees to the JUTC for this year so far?

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