Jamaica spending over $2b for new buses

KINGSTON — Efforts are being made to improve the public passenger transportation system this financial year, through a $2.2 billion allocation to purchase new buses.

The programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, will see some $2.19 billion being allocated to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company.

Approximately $2.14 billion of this sum will be used to purchase buses to service routes across the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region. This is expected to be supported by the JUTC’s ongoing bus maintenance programme, for which another $50 million has been earmarked.

Just over $18 million has been allocated to offset the operational expenses for the delivery of public transportation services in the Montego Bay Metro Region, while the remaining $15 million will finance a rural bus study.

Implementation of the study will entail the engagement of a consultant to undertake an assessment of the transportation system serving students in rural areas.

Some $15 million has been set aside in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized hotels through the use of renewable energy.

The Caribbean Hotel Energy and Action Project, is a carry-over from the last fiscal year, and is being implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining with funding from the Inter American Development Bank.

Initial targets envisaged for the project, include a review of energy consumption practices in the hotel sector; developing an investment plan for improving energy efficiency in the tourism sector; and developing efficiency models for hotels in Jamaica.

It is anticipated that during this fiscal year, the energy efficiency models will be developed and there will be energy audits and walk-through assessments for the sector. (Observer)

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