Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Enough is enough, say militant MoBay taxi operators

Published:Monday | March 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer
Taxi operators at a stand.

Western Bureau:

Taxi operators plying the Montego Bay to Tucker/Irwin route in St James are threatening another withdrawal of service if their demand for better road conditions are not addressed urgently by the relevant authorities.

The operators withdrew their services last Monday, much to the dismay of commuters, including students, many of whom were left stranded.

"We took a stand on Monday to not operate due to the bad condition of the road in the Tucker/Irwin area. These roads have not been repaired for over 15 to 20 years," said taxi operator Andre Montague.

"Yes, it was hard to see students and other persons who work within the community left stranded and some having to go back home, but we as taxi operators had to withdrew our service because enough is enough," added Montague.

The taxi operators complained that on numerous occasions, they have tried to get the attention of their member of parliament and councillors to express their concerns about the deplorable road conditions, which is detrimental to their livelihood, but to no avail.

"The road is very bad. You cannot drive without hitting a pothole, and it doesn't matter if you try to swing to the opposite side or how you line up your car. You just have to fall into a pothole," explained Montague.

"My tyres are being bent and not getting the chance to last. So I have spent a lot of money on tyres, ball joints, struts and whole heap of other front-end parts, plus realignment every time. Gas already expensive. We can't continue to survive like this," he said.

Adamant that they will not allow their cries to go unanswered this time around, the operators are threatening to take further action until the authorities can explicitly indicate when road repairs to the Tucker/Irwin main road will begin.

"A more than 40 taxi operators on the route and the only way we plan to stop strike is if they come and say the work will start by this date. We cannot stop until we get clear confirmation," declared Montague.