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Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) vs. National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS)


Permalink 03:11:06 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) vs. National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS)

What a mix up within the transportation sector. First the big law suit between the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) where the NTCS win a bag ‘a money’, which by the way we the public will have to pay. Now the Transport and Works Ministry have to delay the route replacement programme as out of the 295 applicants that apply for the 164 sub franchise licenses up for grabs, only 38 meet the required criteria.

Let me start at the beginning as I understand it. In 1995 the NTCS which is led by Mr. Ezroy Millwood was granted a ten year contract to operate two of the four franchises for transport system in Kingston. However five years later, in 2001, the agreement was terminated as the Government sought to revive a proper public transportation system. $337.7 million was then paid to the NTCS for the remaining five years of its franchise and the routes operated by the NTCS were handed over to the JUTC.

Mr. Millwood later sued the Government and in 2003 was awarded $4.5 billion, plus interest, for loss of earnings by a three-member tribunal. This ruling was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court. Mr. Millwood then appealed to the Court of Appeal who also ruled against him. Not satisfied, Mr. Millwood appealed once again, this time to the Privy Council. The NTCS has now been awarded $1.85 billion plus interest by the Judicial Committee of the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.


Despite the legal battles, the NTCS still operated some sub-franchised JUTC routes. According to Mr. Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, the NTCS had failed to demonstrate that its members were willing to operate within the realm of the law.  They had also failed to produce, for an extended period, financial statements which were used to calculate a sub-franchise fee which is applied to the society's operating licence. The NTCS is unhappy with the recent increased in the sub-franchise fees from $4500 to $13500 per seat. Obviously there are other battles going on outside the courts.


The NTCS had been given until November 2 to wind up operations on sub-franchised JUTC routes which they still had.  This brings us to the present dilemma. If the NTCS operators go then there needs to be an alternative. Why have the Government waited until the appointed time to put things in place is beyond me. And to add insult to injury, because majority of the applicants don’t meet the required standard, they are now prepared to lower the required standards just to fill the slots.


I tell you sa, we the Jamaican public can certainly get beat up. First we have to find a bag a cash fi go pay the NTCS and on top of that wi now might get even worst transportation service. I just hope sey, somebody mek sure sey, dem have some kind a training programme for the sub standard awardees, a proper policing agenda and heavy, heavy fines put in place for these new sub-franchise operators.


Nuff love

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