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Friday Aug 04
10 hrs ago
Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport Daryl Vaz (right) is being briefed by General Manager, Transport Authority, Ralston Smith, during a tour of the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in Kingston on Thursday. (Photo: JIS)
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The 50 new buses being acquired to boost the public transport system are expected to arrive in the island on August 16 in time for the reopening of schools in September.
Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport Daryl Vaz made the disclosure while speaking with journalists during a tour of the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in St Andrew on Thursday.
He said that the new units, which comprise 45 diesel and five electric vehicles, will significantly increase the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) fleet.
“We are intending to move the fleet from 160 now to 310 for back-to-school the first week in September, bearing in mind that we have procured some parts to fix some of the existing buses,” Minister Vaz said.
He noted, further, that discussions are under way with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to replace a number of buses in the JUTC fleet that have passed their expiry date.
An announcement in this regard will be made in September, he indicated.
With respect to a specialised school bus system, Minister Vaz said discussions are under way for a pilot project to be undertaken.
“What we really want to do with that is to have a pilot project first and foremost. We want to have the pilot project between now and the end of the year just to see whether what we have come up with can work,” he noted.
Minister Vaz said a public-private partnership is being considered for the undertaking.
“That would be the easiest way in terms of getting private-sector investment to be able to fund it, and we will just regulate it,” he said.
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