Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, says that the buses being acquired by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will support the new standards being introduced in the public transportation service.
These include 50 new Volvo units that were handed over on January 30 to the Ministry by JR Wellington Import/Export Corp, the local agents for the Belgian bus-making company, VDL Jonckeere.
Mr. Henry said that it is intended that the overall quality and standard of new buses will speak to the first-class public passenger service that the Government has envisaged for JUTC passengers.
He confirmed that the 50 buses were painted yellow, in keeping with the policy of colour coding being put in place. The formal colour coding system will require that all other units in the region will eventually be painted yellow, while other colours will be selected to represent other regions and parishes.
He said that colour coding will allow for easier identification of public passenger vehicles, easier traffic management and better overall regulation.
“This is very important, if we are to break the back of the widespread illegalities and indiscipline in the service,” the Minister said.
Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry (seated), and Belgian Ambassador to Jamaica, Frederic Meurice, get a feel of one of the new Jonckeere Volvo buses, at the handing over of 50 new units to the Ministry by JR Wellington Import/Export Corp, the local agents for the Belgian bus-making company, VDL Jonckeere. The presentation took place on January 30, on Lady Musgrave Road, in Kingston. The buses will be operated by the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).
He also emphasised his multi-modal concept of public transportation.
“There are many bus stops where we should be able to put three or four taxis, because after you come off the bus, you will probably want to get a taxi. They should not be seen to be fighting with each other, not being alienated from each other, but being integrated,” he explained.
Mr. Henry thanked the Belgian government for its longstanding support of the country’s public transportation needs.
“It has been a good partnership, which significantly benefitted Jamaica, and it is important to note that a number of projects are now under consideration or being drawn up for implementation under the same bilateral arrangements,” he pointed out.
Belgian Ambassador, Frederic Meurice, said there would be continued support for the Jamaican government and its dynamic policy on public transportation.
“In the future, the rehabilitation project of the JUTC and the plans for a fully functional public transportation system will require additional units.Belgium will certainly be happy, if the Jamaican authorities are willing, to look into the possibility of even more Belgian/ Jamaican co-operation in the sector,” Mr. Meurice said.
He thanked the Government of Jamaica for its long-lasting confidence in the Belgium Government.