JUTC Managing Director Paul Abrahams
The State-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) on Wednesday revealed that it is overstaffed by 500 workers and a rationalisation exercise is underway to correct the matter.
JUTC Managing Director Paul Abrahams told Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) that the company has had to fork out $25 million monthly since the start of the financial year to pay the additional staff.
The rationalisation exercise is expected to be completed this month.
"We should be actually completing that rationalization by sometime next week, at which time, representation will have to be made to the ministry as to what will have to happen to these additional persons that need to be removed from the JUTC," said Mr. Abrahams.
He said despite the overstaffing, the company is still in need of drivers and engineers. Despite attempts at bonding these workers they often leave the JUTC to take up jobs in Canada, he explained.
New buses in 2021
Meanwhile, it was disclosed that the JUTC will not receive new buses until the year 2021.
The disclosure did not go down well with Opposition Spokesman on Transport Mikeal Phillips.
"That $1.3 billion that you spending on parts, you and I know that is not even enough to service what the JUTC needs right now," he contended.
He said the $1.3 billion used to service the current fleet, would be better utilised to purchase new buses.
In the meantime, the Transport Authority is to dispose of five buses which were purchased last year.
The Chinese Dragon buses were purchased at $22 million each and were expected to transport staff at the agency.
However, the Transport Authority discovered that it could not afford to maintain the buses.
Members of the PAAC criticised the agency, calling the purchase an unnecessary use of funds.
"You didn't make that evaluation that they're not workable when it is on sea (sic), you would have made that evaluation before you even pay for them, so it just looks a little bit messy that you spend that amount of money, then after receiving them, to decide that they were too expensive," Mr. Phillips reasoned.