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Transport Authority rebuffs 'not enough' claim by taxi service companies

Published:Thursday | December 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Cecil Morgan

The Transport Authority (TA) has dismissed recent claims that taxi companies are using illegal taxis, or robots, to transport passengers across the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).

The Gleaner had put the issue to the owners and managing directors of some of the popular taxi companies that operate in the KMA and there was an admission from all that they indulge in the practice.

Some blamed the TA for giving rise to the matter by not issuing enough road licences to the taxi companies while others argued that, with the increased demand for their services, they made the decision to place robots in the fleet.

But the authority has said it is not to be blamed and has distanced itself from the practice.

"The Transport Authority neither condones nor sanctions the use of illegal vehicles in the public transportation

by hackney carriage companies," Cecil Morgan, the managing director of the TA, said in a statement to The Gleaner.

The public transport regulator has also rebuffed the claim by some of the operators who have said that enough licences were not being issued to the companies.

"In fact in November 2016, the authority offered 435 hackney carriage road licences with special incentive of a waiver of road licences fee until March 2017," the TA disclosed, adding that only four of 17 taxi service companies have taken advantage of the offer.

The TA said on two separate occasions it indicated to taxi companies that, as of January 13, 2017, when the offer expires, "no hackney carriage companies should be using illegal vehicles in their fleet".

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com