05 May Government pushing the JUTC out of business; Chaos and managerial disorder in public transport worrying
The Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Mr. Mikael Phillips has expressed concerns regarding the issuance of more than 6000 new license to operate public passenger vehicles within the transport network, between June 2016 and January 2017, without making public the requisite assessment informing the decision.
During his recent presentation to the sectoral debate, Mr. Phillips asked Minister Henry to state definitively the government’s plan regarding the viability of the public passenger transport system, and whether the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is being forced out of operation by encroachment, indiscipline and lack of enforcement of the sub-franchisee route system? No public transportation system can survive in this level of chaos, Mr. Phillips quipped.
The new decision by the Minister to allow Hiace buses to terminate in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) will no doubt add to the chaos and indiscipline now being experienced throughout the Sector; and will further impact the revenue of the JUTC.
The Opposition Spokesman on Transport said the JUTC would have no alternative but to cease operations if the current level of indiscipline in the public passenger system is allowed to continue without the protection of its revenue base.
With each passing day, the system becomes more and more chaotic, reminiscence of the days of disorder in the public passenger transport system. We have stated repeatedly that a metropolis like Kingston requires a decent, well-operated and modern public passenger bus system.
Unfortunately, the system is once again descending into a dog-eat-dog world of confusion.
In addition to the uncertainty, the JUTC continues to operate with mounting debt, fewer fleet and no support from the government in resolving the structural and managerial issues facing the company.