Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies, says the granting of licences for certain routes will have to be linked to profitability.
“There are just too many licences granted, and the ‘run jostle’ mentality, it isn’t surprising that this has occurred. We are going to deal with that to ensure that the number of licences which are granted to specific routes have some relationship to financial viability,” Dr. Davies said.
Speaking at the Jamaica House press briefing, on June 20, hosted by Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, Dr. Davies emphasised that the indiscipline and lawlessness in the public transport sector will be reigned in.
“We are systematically going through to ensure that those who are licensed adhere to the rules, and those who are not licensed will be taken off the roads,” the Minister said.
He noted that the Ministry is working closely with the Transport Authority, the Inland Revenue Department and the police in this endeavour.
On the matter of the revived passenger railway service (Linstead to Spanish Town), the Minister said losses of up to approximately $2 million monthly are being incurred, and he is in discussion with the Board to terminate that service.
“It makes no sense,” Dr. Davies said, noting that there are interested private sector parties and that part of the deliberations will be to examine the various options.
“They (the Board) have advised me that there is at least one formal unsolicited proposal, and we will have to determine whether we should go further with this unsolicited proposal, or put out a general request for a proposal in that regard,” he elaborated.
Asked about the viability of the downtown transport centre and plans for that facility, Dr. Davies said it will have to be reviewed, but pointed out that the centre is not directly under his portfolio.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Senior Reporter