Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Proposed changes to transport policy could spell 'chaos' - Phillips

Published:Thursday | May 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM

A prelude to chaos! That's how Opposition Spokesman on Transport Mikael Phillips has described proposed plans by his government counterpart, Robert Montague, to grant unlimited licences to operate in the public transportation sector.

In a news release yesterday, Phillips said that Montague's proposal would render the transport sector uneconomic and would erode the service to the commuting public.

According to Phillips, the minister's remarks were not properly "thought out and were not in keeping with the industry best practices and international standards".

He argued that under the planned initiative, operators in the transport sector would overcrowd the most lucrative routes, leaving the others underserved.

Phillips warned that while some people may respond positively, initially, to the Government's overhaul of the sector, the move could be the death knell of the industry. He said that the full impact of the "half-baked" plan on investors, operators, and commuters was still unknown.

At the top of the list, he said, was what the role of the regulator - the Transport Authority - would be and whether it would have the requisite staffing and regulatory authority to manage the new rules.

On Tuesday, Montague announced that the Government would be holding talks with stakeholders in the transport sector with a view to making sweeping changes in the regulatory framework involving the opening up of all routes to operators.