Ageing buses cramp JUTC's style

Observer senior reporter

Friday, October 13, 2017

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IT is not just Jamaica's population that has been ageing significantly; so too is the country's public bus company.

Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Paul Abrahams told the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of the House of Representatives Wednesday that ageing buses form the main obstacle to achieving its target of rolling out approximately 450 buses daily.

“We have sufficient (spare) parts and we have funding through the Ministry of Finance for adequate parts,” Abrahams told the committee, signalling that the company had successfully negotiated the main setback over recent years, which was the unavailability of funding for spare parts.

However, he said that in spite of the improvement, the JUTC has not been able to achieve the daily roll-out it anticipated because of the age of the buses.

“Because of poor maintenance operations in the past, we are finding that a number of these buses are now having issues, major issues, such as with transmission and engine,” Abrahams explained.

“So our function right now is to handle the easier repairs so that we can at least, have a comfortable fleet roll-out, as we target the major repairs,” he said.

He said that the daily roll-out is currently 430 available buses daily, which is short of the 452 available buses needed daily.

However, he said that the company anticipates, hopefully, that by December or January they should reach the 450 figure.

Abrahams said that the situation has been compounded by the fact that there have been orchestrated attacks on buses, creating severe damage. He said that the JUTC expects to have some information on the culprits by Monday.

He said that the attacks are not carried out by “idle hands”, and that when buses are attacked they have to be pulled off the route for lengthy periods, and passengers offloaded to find alternative means of transportation.




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