JIS News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will be increasing its fleet of buses to 500 by March 2009, as part of measures to improve the efficiency of the public transportation system.
Vice President of Operations at JUTC, Bill Allen, told JIS News that a total of 200 buses would be added to the existing fleet, with 100 of that number expected to begin arriving in the island in October.
“The new buses will be air-conditioned, similar to some that are already on the road,” he pointed out, adding that, they would include premium, express, coaches, and ordinary passenger units that would operate as normal buses plying the regular round-town routes.
Mr. Allen informed that over the next eight months, the company would be employing close to 400 drivers to complement the increasing bus fleet. “What we have done is allow the customer service agents (CSAs) or conductors, who are interested in becoming drivers, to apply,” he noted, adding that the long-term plan is to have two drivers assigned to each bus.
This move, he explained, is to provide jobs for persons whose post would soon become redundant as the company moves toward single-operator buses.
In terms of monitoring the buses, the Vice President informed that in another couple of weeks, the company would be commissioning its Automotive Vehicle Locator System (AVLS), which is designed to assist the JUTC in viewing each route to make better projections as to whether “a bus goes off route, if the bus delays at the terminus for too long or if it is running on schedule.”
Commenting on the availability and regularity of buses on routes, Mr. Allen said that the overall objective is to have buses in “every crevice and corner” of the metropolitan area.
He said that the re-introduction of the Seaview Gardens route is already a success and the Olympic Way and Southside routes would be added soon.
On the maintenance and servicing of the buses, he pointed out that there has been a tremendous reduction in the amount of buses that are out of service. He said that the company has spent a lot of money on repairs and getting spare parts to ensure that the buses are up and running.
“In the past, each depot would have about 30 buses per month, that the wreckers would have to pick up; now they are down to about ten and we are moving to zero,” the Vice President said, adding that “our reliability has increased.our operational hours on the roads have been increased and our bus availability has increased.”

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