Transport Minister Mike Henry has ordered an immediate management audit of the State-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company.
Henry said the bus company is in urgent need of Government support and the objective of the audit is to identify critical operational issues impacting its efficiency.
The minister said the issues plaguing the bus company are many and varied and include: replacement of an ageing fleet of buses; credit arrangements for fuel and spare parts; additional equipment to support the fare collection system; and a refurbishing programme to enhance fleet output.
Henry also wants the audit to provide guidelines on the number of seats recommended by the Transport Authority and its impact on the current fare structure for Kingston Metropolitan Region passengers.
He said despite the prolonged period of low fuel costs, operational expenses at the JUTC remain high. Henry said he is also concerned about the number of crashes involving the buses and the impact this is having on the company’s budget.
Added to that, the minister said that the JUTC urgently needs 305 new buses over the next two years to meet the growing demand for seats. However, only 30 can be accommodated in the budget this year. He said he would continue consultations and discussions with the Ministry of Finance to see how best financial arrangements can be made for the additional buses.