- JUTC Managing Director, Colin Campbell, says the bus company is projected to earn an additional $5 million per day from the reformed sub-franchise system.
- The revision of the franchise system will move the JUTC’s revenues from just over $300 million to about $400 million per month.
- The anticipated $400 million per month will allow the JUTC to pay its basic bills, which include the purchase of fuel, tyres, batteries, as well as security, toll and staff costs.
Managing Director (MD) of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Colin Campbell, says the bus company is projected to earn an additional $5 million per day from the reformed sub-franchise system.
“We expect that the revision of the franchise system will move the JUTC’s revenues from just over $300 million to about $400 million per month,” Mr. Campbell said during a press conference at the company’s Twickenham Park headquarters in St. Catherine, on Tuesday, April 1.
He said the anticipated $400 million per month will allow the JUTC to pay its basic bills, which include the purchase of fuel, tyres, batteries, as well as security, toll and staff costs.
Marking the start of the reformed system on April 1, several routes in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) were reclaimed by the JUTC, as part of its route rationalisation programme. These include routes 3, 17 Express, 19A, 31A, 32, and 42.
Route 3 runs from Christian Gardens to downtown; Route 17 Express from Greater Portmore to Cross Roads via downtown; Route 19A from Greater Portmore to Papine; Route 31A from Duhaney Park to downtown, via Marcus Garvey Drive; and Route 32 runs from Duhaney Park to downtown, via Half Way Tree, while Route 42 runs from Constant Spring to downtown.
“We have eliminated the sub-franchising of these routes, because we have the equipment and the staff necessary to run a good service on these corridors,” the JUTC Managing Director stated.
Mr. Campbell said a review of the sub-franchise system was necessary to restore order and discipline to the transport sector.
He noted that the system has, over the years, got out of control, becoming disorganised, and ballooning from 192 units in 2000 to 520 in 2011/2012.
“We have always had a sub-franchise operation, but we have never reviewed it. We have never seen it fit to locate it in any special way within our operations, in spite of the fact that it has been an integral part of our operations from the start,” he said.
Originally, the sub-franchise system operated along 39 of the JUTC’s 109 routes, with the additional buses contracted to operate along routes that the JUTC was unable to service.
“It was meant for the small communities in the middle of the city or some of the hilly routes…(which) made it difficult for our units to traverse,” he said.
Under the reformed system, franchisees are required to abide by a new set of regulations, which include painting their buses yellow.
Additionally, all drivers and conductors must be attired in uniforms, with clearly displayed identification cards. The buses are also required to have route numbers and franchise stickers displayed on the back and front.
Mr. Campbell said the sub-franchise stickers will serve as a means of identifying the designated drivers and conductors, and allow for better monitoring of the system.
“So the bus will be yellow, it will be stickered as legitimately in the franchise with a code number, which will be similar to the identification numbers of the driver and conductor,” he stated.
Mr. Campbell said the aim is to have a system that is centrally controlled, properly managed, and disciplined.
Additionally, no markings, tints and loud, lewd music or unauthorised conductors, and “loaders” or “sidemen”, will be allowed on franchised buses.
Franchisees must also operate in accordance with the Road Traffic Act, and adhere to the full route descriptions that are given.
Mr. Campbell warned that licences will be revoked if these rules are breached.