Fri | Jul 23, 2021

PNP says Montague must explain Uber's entry into Jamaica

Published:Friday | June 18, 2021 | 10:26 AM
Mikael Phillips

Opposition Spokesperson on Transport, Mikael Phillips, has called on Robert Montague, Minister of Transport, to "better explain the entry of Uber  transport services in Jamaica and end the widespread confusion among transport operators and the commuting public.”

In a statement today, Phillips said the public transport services are highly regulated in Jamaica through the Road Traffic Act and the Transport Authority Act.

He noted that any corporate body or individual providing such services must obtain the relevant licenses from the Transport Authority (TA) before commencing operations.

"The mechanism to protect our citizens requires that a TA Road License be acquired for a specific transport service. A special “L” Form” from the Island Traffic Authority, approving aesthetics and safety, and an operator's badge, must also be issued by the TA. As such, the Minister must categorically state if these regulations are applicable to Uber," the statement read.

According to Phillips, the opposition party is aware that Uber itself does not own vehicles but operates the technology platform which drivers utilise. 

He highlighted that while he has no objection to Uber or any other company providing services to improve public transport in Jamaica, the necessary safeguards must be put in place.

"The Minister must therefore explain how the Uber service escaped regulatory oversight in its start-up of operations," he said.

Phillips underscored that the effectiveness of the Transport Authority as the main regulator needs to be examined. He noted that there are long-standing enforcement issues in the country in general which must be addressed.

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