JIS News

Thirteen of 50 newly acquired Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses rolled out on three Corporate Area routes this morning, heralding the start of an improved service for commuters.
Corporate Communications Manager at the JUTC, Reginald Allen, told JIS News that the process went smoothly, and that the Ministry of Transport and Works is expecting a tremendous improvement in the service in the Corporate Area with the introduction of the new buses over the next few months.
Mr. Allen pointed out that the new buses are technologically advanced and better suited for safety and commuter comfort, being driver-only operated, fully air-conditioned and restricted to a speed limit of 70 kilometers per hour, among other features.
“These types of buses were originally limited to the premium and Express, but this is now being extended to all routes,” he added.
The limited number introduced into the system this morning was due to the warranty specifications of the Belgian suppliers VDL Jonckeere, who have set “strict and specific arrangements,” stipulating that the drivers must be specifically selected and then trained by Jonckeere’s technicians to operate the units.
“Training has started and already 26 drivers have been trained, hence the roll out of 13 buses which will allow for two shifts to be operated,” Mr. Allen explained.
Pointing to the JUTC’s commitment to ensuring efficiency in its operations and serving the needs of customers, Mr. Allen noted that the original March timeline for the roll out was revised to February, in response to the needs of commuters.
“We had originally anticipated an initial roll out in March, but due to the fact that we were able to get the training of the drivers started earlier than expected, we brought it forward to February,” he said.
The buses, which are based at the Spanish Town, Rockfort and Portmore depots, have been deployed to the Spanish Town-Half-Way Tree, Greater Portmore-Half-Way Tree and downtown Kingston-Half-Way Tree via Mountain View, Stanton Terrace and New Kingston, routes.
By April, another 50 buses will be handed over to the JUTC to complete the order for 100 new units.
Mr. Allen said that the order will allow for some of the older buses to be temporarily withdrawn and serviced, while the new buses are integrated into the fleet on a phased basis.

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