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Six more new buses for JUTC: CNG units to arrive later this year – Vaz Loop Jamaica

The Government has ordered 20 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses through a framework agreement, to further boost the fleet of the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).

“We are hoping to get six (of the buses) here by November, and the other 14 by January 2024,” said Daryl Vaz, Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday.

Vaz acknowledged that the recently acquired 50 new buses will not be enough to significantly boost the current JUTC fleet.

But he reminded that Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, in his budget presentation, had committed to funding for 100 new electric buses in the 2024-2025 fiscal year, and 100 in 2025-2026.

“Because of the situation at JUTC now, I’m in active discussions and negotiations with Minister Clarke and his team…, to see if there is any possibility that an order for 100 buses can be done if the funding is available before the end of this financial year,” said Vaz.

“Obviously, it has a procurement aspect to it, and I am hoping that this week… I will have that meeting so that we can come up with a final position in relation to how we go forward with a best-case scenario of being able to order those buses this financial year, which means that with a six-month lead time, we would be able to get those buses by the first half of 2024,” Vaz explained.

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If the buses are ordered as hoped for, Vaz declared that this “would do a huge job in improving the transport (sector) with newer buses and new buses, bearing in mind that the average age of the fleet at the JUTC is between 12 and 14 years.”