Several of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses, which were out of service for lengthy periods, have been repaired in time for the start of the new school term, starting on September 1.
This follows an intensive maintenance programme carried out by the JUTC during the summer period.
Managing Director of the JUTC, Colin Campbell, says this is one of the strategies which have been employed by the company to improve its level of service in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR).
“We expect that once we roll out on Monday morning (September 1), the service to the KMTR will be at an even higher level than it was in the last school year. We intend to carry all the passengers and more than we did last year,” he said.
Mr. Campbell was addressing a media briefing at the JUTC’s Spanish Town Depot in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, following a tour of several JUTC locations yesterday (August 28).
He noted that while 445 buses will be dispatched for September 1, the repaired buses bring to 503, the total number of buses now available in the JUTC fleet.
“This will enable us to have a reliable service, because if a bus goes down, we can always substitute,” he said, adding that the JUTC has never been in better health, “as far as our fleet is concerned and we intend to keep it that way.”
He noted that several of the buses that were out of service were relatively new units that used to be “cannibalized”, because of the lack of spare parts, where parts would be taken from them to fix other buses.
“A number of our buses, I think almost 30 buses, were out for long-term repairs, meaning buses that were out for more than 365 days. In some cases, buses were out for up to 700 days parked in our garage because they were cannibalized,” he said.
Mr. Campbell said it is intended that the repaired buses will be kept in service now, due to the “very tight policy of no cannibalisation of units in the JUTC.”
Prior to the media briefing, the Managing Director, accompanied by several JUTC executives, led a tour of the company’s Spanish Town Depot, Portmore Depot, the Ashenheim Road Maintenance facility and the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre.