JUTC to test public passenger electric bus Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is embarking on a pilot to roll out the country’s first public passenger electric bus.

Managing Director, Paul Abrahams, told JIS News that the unit valued at US$285,000, has been provided to the JUTC for the six-month project at no cost to the company.

The unit has a seating capacity of 35 with standing room for 20 passengers. However, some seats will give way to facilities for the disabled.

Abrahams said the criteria for testing include the type of terrain that the buses operate on, maintenance, routing, and battery life.

He indicated that there is a device in the charging facility that measures the kilowatts of electricity used when the unit is being powered up.

This, the managing director explained, will enable the JUTC to calculate the percentage of electricity relating to the facility that is used each month.

Abrahams said that upon completion of the testing phase, discussions will be held with the Ministry of Transport and Mining on the way forward regarding purchasing the bus.

He pointed out, however, that there is currently no contractual arrangement with the manufacturer or the local dealer.

Abrahams told JIS News that the JUTC’s move is consistent with the Government’s focus on prioritising energy efficiency.

The managing director, who further noted that fuel diversification has been a longstanding priority at the JUTC, said the entity has been exploring the possibility of utilising buses fuelled by natural gas as well as a biodiesel project.

“This basically fits into a plan to possibly try and convert the JUTC’s fleet from diesel-operated buses to a more efficient form of energy,” he pointed out.

Abrahams said although the electric bus is priced higher than diesel units, the technology involved in the former is far superior to the combustion engine.