Transport minister consults on transformation proposals
Determined that the public transport system cannot continue in a state of anarchy, Transport and Works Minister Robert Montague met with various players in the public transport industry yesterday, hoping that his 15-point transformation proposal, would find favour with them.
The consultation was held at the Wolmer's Boys' School Auditorium in Kingston.
On May 30 during the Sectoral Debate in Parliament, Montague tabled the proposal which includes:
1. The opening up of all routes
2. Routes must be kept for a minimum of 30 days, before one can apply for route change,
3. Allow persons to craft own routes and apply for it to be registered,
4. Applications for licenses will no longer go to the board,
5. The renewal of licenses on owner's birth month and instead of in April,
6. All public passenger vehicles must be fitted with vehicle locator,
7. Every driver must be in possession of a badge and if more than 10 driver's points are accumulated, badges will be suspended, 8.The establishment of a city taxi system
9. Drivers must submit to an annual customer service driver education training
10. Transport Authority will develop a free taxi locator and safety smart phone application
11. Once the Island traffic authority certifies a vehicle, that person can be issued with a road license
12. No driver will get a badge if he or she is a rapist, child molester gunman or thief
13. Anyone caught running an illegal taxi will have vehicle seized and will only be returned once there is proof that they have applied for a road license
14. The issuance of four-year permits, but with annual renewal.
15. Drivers and owners must update our database with two weeks' notice in case of change of address, colour of vehicle or any relevant change. Our database must be current.
Managing Director of Apollo taxi service, Sandralyn Patterson, after hearing the transport minister's proposal told The Gleaner that she agreed with some of the proposals including renewal of road licences in the month of your birth, and the training of drivers in customer service.
"I agree with some of the points; I do believe that everybody in the industry should be trained. However, some need to go back to the drawing board. We need to come together for clarity," she said.