JIS News

Minister of Transport and Works, Robert Pickersgill has said that recent amendments to the Transport Authority and Road Traffic Acts would provide for greater order to the public transport system especially as it relates to taxi operations.
Making his contribution to the 2004/05 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on June 14, Minister Pickersgill said that the amendments, which were agreed with the Association of Taxi Operators, would allow the commuter to easily distinguish between legal and illegal operators. The legislation, which was passed last month, provide for the introduction of colour coding and numbering systems; affixing the logo of the Association to the front doors of the vehicle; and a five-by-seven inch identification with a picture of the driver displayed for passengers viewing the inside of the vehicle.
Minister Pickersgill pointed out, that the legislation was passed after extensive consultations with players in the sector including the Island Traffic Authority, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited and the National Works Agency, National Association of Taxi Operators, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Attorney General’s Department, and Parliamentarians.
He told the House that implementation of the stipulated requirements, was already fostering greater accountability “as operators will be more easily identified and information on operators will be more accessible. The Transport Authority can now easily refer to an organisation on matters pertaining to its members. This will enable the Authority to carry out its mandate more promptly, effectively and efficiently.”
The amended Acts also provide for the introduction of a ticketing system; increase of the fines under the Transport Authority Act and the Road Traffic Act; establishment of a new class of road licence called ‘route taxis’; and the seizure, storage and disposal of vehicles.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pickersgill said that the computerisation of the Authority’s operations has led to major reductions in the time taken to process applications for the renewal of licenses.
“Such applications,” he informed the House, “are now processed in as short a time as three days up to a maximum of ten days. The time for processing new applications is now three to four weeks down from months.”

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