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Public passenger operator takes Transport Authority to court

Published:Monday | September 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

Another public passenger operator has taken the Transport Authority to court.

This time, hackney carriage operator, Mark Seccard, has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking to challenge the regulator’s decision to change the number of passengers who can be transported by a hackney carriage operator.

The application was filed on Friday.

Seccard, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Garth Lyttle, is contending that the Transport Authority has reduced the passenger limit of hackney carriage operators from four to three.

He is arguing that the hackney licences granted to operators as well as the Certificate of Fitness and Registration allows drivers to carry four passengers.

In court documents, the St Andrew resident also noted that operators found carrying more than three passengers have had their vehicles seized by Transport Authority inspectors and the police and are taken to court where they are fined.

He is contending that there in nothing in law or regulation to support their actions.

Seccard is seeking an order that the licences granted by the Transport Authority to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company cannot be considered exclusive for the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region and as such it does not have the power in law to restrict hackney carriage operators who pick up and let down passengers in the KMTR.

He is also seeking an order that given that the Transport Authority has granted five other licences for vehicles to operate in the KMTR, by its own act, this negates or removes the exclusivity from the JUTC to be the sole public passenger vehicle provider of transportation in the Region.

A declaration is also being sought that the Road Traffic Act gives no power and or authority to the Transport Authority to vary the statutory stipulation as to the seating capacity of hackney carriage motor cars and vehicles.

Seccard is also seeking a declaration that the offence of excess passenger is not a seizable offence.

He wants a declaration that action of the Transport Authority to reduce the number passengers who can be transported by hackney carriage operators usurps the authority of a certifying officer and Parliament and such action the decision should be rendered void.