Opposition Spokesperson for Transport Mikael Phillips said that the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC)lost $80 million in the fiscal year 2022-2023 and is projected to lose an additional $115 million if the service is not fixed to function efficiently.
Phillips was speaking during his contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debate in Parliament yesterday (May 2) where he noted that the JRC is losing money on its current operations.
“Its operating costs increased by 700 per cent last year due to the recently introduced school service, Old Harbour and Linstead to Spanish Town, which was badly planned without any origin and destination survey. We are not against the service, but it will not be successful without the right policy and plans. We cannot keep doing the same wrong things and get different results,” said Phillips.
He noted that the JRC made only $10 million in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which prompted the $80 million loss in fiscal year 2022-2023.
“Repairs and maintenance moved from an expenditure of $4 million in FY 21/22, $10 million in FY 22/23 to an estimated expenditure of $33 million in FY 23/24. Madam Speaker, there is cause for concern, this level of losses needs to be cauterised with urgency,” the shadow minister contended.
He further argued that the JRC has the responsibility to maintain locomotives and track and it cannot waste resources.