JUTC News Release

Government launches the First Public Passenger Battery Electric Bus (BEB)


As the Government moves towards reducing its carbon footprint to create a more sustainable transport sector, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has launched the first Battery Electric Bus (BEB) for public transportation.

The bus which seats 35 and has facilities for members of the disabled community as well as parents traveling with a stroller, was launched during a ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday, January 30, 2023.

Prime Minister Holness noted that the Government is serious about its environmental commitments, as well as its climate change obligations, but stressed that the government is committed to its fiscal arrangements to ensuring that the JUTC does not become a fiscal risk or threat to the government.

“To fullfil all of these commitments (our climate change and environment and fiscal management) the government has to undertake a very comprehensive programme of integrating new technologies into our operations. We started that a few years ago with the introduction of compressed natural gas buses and now we are moving to electric buses. Electric buses offer a great deal of advantages, environmental advantages, practically no emissions, low maintainance and it takes away the theft of fuel” Prime Minister Holness said.

Prime Minister Holness noted that following the launch, the bus will be handed over to the JUTC for an initial testing period of approximately six months to gather empirical data which will be used to determine the next steps regarding BEBs in the public transportation industry.

For his part, Transport and Mining Minister Audley Shaw urged commuters to take care of the bus. He noted that 5 additional BEBs are slated to arrive by the end of next month along with 45 diesel-operated units.

Managing Director of the JUTC Paul Abrahams, lauded the initiative saying the introduction of the BEB is part of the strategic effort of the Company to reduce the use of fossil fuels and thus reduce emissions into the atmosphere. Outling some of the features of the bus, Mr. Abrahams noted that the bus is equipped with dashcams, real-time data collection and low floor capacity to assist members of the disabled community.

An electric bus is one that replaces an internal combustion engine and fuel tank with an electric motor and battery which is powered by electricity, thereby reducing noise and pollution.