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Story Highlights

  • The Transport Authority (TA) is urging members of the public to be aware of the identifying marks on licensed public passenger vehicles.
  • The Transport Authority is empowered to issue licences for five categories of public passenger vehicles.
  • Miss Williams said they should also have a Transport Authority sticker on the windshield, a Transport Authority driver identification badge in the vehicle and drivers should be in uniform.

The Transport Authority (TA) is urging members of the public to be aware of the identifying marks on licensed public passenger vehicles, in order to protect themselves when travelling.

Communications and Customer Services Manager at the Transport Authority, Petra-Kene Williams, told JIS News that under section 60 of the Road Traffic Act, the Transport Authority is empowered to issue licences for five categories of public passenger vehicles – Route Taxis, Hackney Carriage, Stage Carriage, Express Carriage and Contract.

She explained that route taxis may carry passengers paying separate fares along a designated route and can stop to pick up or let off passengers along the route. “Route taxis must have 10 seats or less, red PPV licence plates, the words ‘Route Taxi’ written on the doors and the particulars relating to the route legibly printed on the outside of the front doors,” she added.

Miss Williams said they should also have a Transport Authority sticker on the windshield, a Transport Authority driver identification badge in the vehicle and drivers should be in uniform.

She said that to identify hackney carriage operators, commuters should look for a globe bearing the word ‘Taxi’ or ‘Hackney’ on the roof, a Transport Authority sticker on the windshield, Transport Authority driver identification in the vehicle as well as on the driver’s person, the particulars relating to fares, mileage and charges legibly printed in letters of not less than one inch in height, on the outside of the front doors.

“Hackney carriage is a vehicle used for carrying passengers for hire or reward and which stands or plies for hire on thoroughfares or places frequented by the public. The vehicle should carry no more than three passengers who should be travelling together,” she explained.

She  said that a stage carriage is a vehicle (usually a coaster bus) used for carrying passengers for hire or reward, at separate fares for each passenger, and which travels stage by stage along a designated route, normally originating from a rural parish and terminating in another town.

She cited Port Antonio to Kingston as one such route and that Rural Stage Carriage operators  can stop to pick up or set down passengers at designated stops along the route.

“The vehicle must have a seating accommodation for no less than 11 passengers and it must indicate the origin and destination route for which it is licensed. The law also requires that all stage carriages must exhibit at the front and rear of the vehicle, the origin and destination of the route for which it is licensed,” Miss Williams said.

The Communications Manager further explained that Express Carriage is a vehicle used for carrying passengers for hire or reward, at separate fares for each passenger and for a journey from one or more points specified in advance to one or more destinations.

The vehicles must have seating accommodation for no less than 11 passengers and must exhibit at the front and rear, the origin and destination of the journey for which it is licensed.

She explained that Contract Carriage “is a vehicle used for carrying passengers for hire or reward under an expressed or implied contract, for the use of the vehicle as a whole and for an agreed rate or sum.”

Miss Williams said the vehicle must not stand or ply for hire on any road or in any place which is in public view or to which the public may have access, unless that road or place is designated as one which may be used for standing or plying for hiring passengers.

She added that the person who is the holder of a licence to use the vehicle as a stage carriage may also use it as a contract or as an express carriage.