JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Sixteen Route Taxi Associations from across the island have received certification from the Transport Authority (TA).
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy said the certification is a key part of the process in modernizing the public transportation sector.
  • The certification process is the result of a Ministry directive to the TA in June 2012, for the implementation of a rationalization exercise for the taxi associations.

Sixteen Route Taxi Associations from across the island have received certification from the Transport Authority (TA).

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, handed over the documents on Wednesday, October 8, during a ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.

He said the certification is a key part of the process in modernizing the public transportation sector.

“Further, it signals a positive shift in the culture of the transportation business; a shift that will afford our route taxi operators a friendlier, comfortable environment in which to conduct business,” he stated.

The certification process is the result of a Ministry directive to the TA in June 2012, for the implementation of a rationalization exercise for the taxi associations.

A Route Taxi Association Rationalization Committee was established to spearhead the transformation of the operations of the associations and clearly establish the relationship between the TA and the groups.

Dr. Guy informed that in January 2014, the TA began accepting applications for Route Taxi Associations and at the end of the process, a total of 37 groups were granted provisional approval.

He noted that of the 37 associations, 21 have met all the requirements for approval and 16 have signed the agreement with the TA, resulting in their receipt of certification documents.

“It is anticipated that another four associations will be considered for approval at the next sitting of the Licensing Committee of the Authority,” Dr. Guy informed.

Meanwhile, the Minister urged the leaders of the various associations to ensure that they lobby for their members’ interests in respect of insurance coverage, purchase of spare parts, tyres and so on.

“At minimum, you must also seek to implement internal systems to monitor the performance of your members, particularly those whose activities put the lives of the commuting public at risk,” he stated.

“This should include instituting internal grievance procedures, training and development of operators, encouraging compliance with wearing of approved uniforms and Public Passenger Vehicles (PPV) badges by members, and the provision of intelligence to the (Transport) Authority on violators of the system. We are not asking you to be informers but we are asking you to protect your own interests,” he told them.

Chairman of the TA, Norton Hinds, noted that the re-organization of Route Taxi Associations is another example of the authority’s commitment to providing first class service to all its stakeholders and customers.

“(It is) a direct strategy to improve the overall regulatory and monitoring activities across the island,” he stated.

The TA is the agency charged with responsibility for the licensing of all public and commercial vehicles and regulating and monitoring of public transportation in Jamaica.