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Timeline for delivery of new JUTC buses uncertain

The timeline for the delivery of new buses to augment the JUTC's fleet has become a moving target.

In June, Leader of Government Business Edmund Bartlett said 50 new buses would be on the island by the end of the month.

Mr. Bartlett said the units would include 45 diesel powered and five electric buses.

During a post cabinet press briefing on July 5, Transport Minister Daryl Vaz said the buses would arrive on the island at the end of that week.

Now, with the start of the new school year only a month away, it seems uncertainty still surrounds the delivery of the new buses.

Speaking at the Prime Minister's Quartely Media Briefing on Thursday, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, though unable to give a specific time frame for the delivery of the new units, said the government could be buying more compressed natural gas (CNG) buses than initially planned. 

"The buses that are to arrive in this fiscal year will shortly be here. As I would have announced or would have reminded the country in a budget presentation, we have 50 plus 25. We are making plans for buses to arrive in next fiscal year and the fiscal year after that." 

"We had initially spoken about 200 electric buses. However, the compressed [natural] gas buses that we had, the five, the performance has been excellent and there are discussions as to whether we could accelerate the arrival of the new 100 by expanding the compressed [natural] gas programme. That is not yet a decision," Dr. Clarke acknowledged.