Over 21,000 members of the National Council of Taxi Associations (NCOTA) will benefit from Closed User Group (CUG) phone services provided by telecommunications firm, LIME, through an agreement signed Monday (March 7) at LIME’s corporate office in Kingston.
An important aspect of the agreement is LIME’s commitment to assist the Council in establishing a pension fund for its members. It will also allow NCOTA’s members across Jamaica unlimited talk and texts for a flat monthly fee.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, endorsed the agreement pointing out that communications was one of the most important ways going forward for the sector.
“The agreement speaks to where we want to go. It will speak to communications, safety of the drivers and safety of the passengers and, most importantly, the pensionable aspect that relates,” he said.
Mr. Henry noted that the move ties in with the transformation which his Ministry plans to roll out in the transport industry. He also encouraged members of licensed taxi associations to adhere to the road rules, and warned against using cellular phones while operating their taxis.
LIME’s Managing Director for Jamaica and Cayman, Garry Sinclair, said the agreement would revolutionize the way taxi operators communicate in Jamaica. He also noted that the establishment of the pension fund was critical to ensuring the drivers’ safety and security when they retire.
“We recognize that, as small businessmen, a lot of the times you don’t make the kind of preparations that are required to assist you (in the future). This agreement is a win-win for LIME, for the entire taxi association members and we believe it is a win for Jamaica, also,” he said.
President of the NCTA, Dion Chance, described the agreement as a revolutionary deal.
“We are living in a new age where technology rules and this partnership is opening doors for us, by making it affordable. Over the three-year period, we will see LIME contributing a total of $6 million to be sent over to the taxi pension fund, which is for owners and drivers of NCOTA (National Council of Taxi Association),” he said.
As part of the agreement, LIME will also provide landline and internet services to the taxi associations and their individual members, at discounted rates. The taxi operators will also get special deals on mobile handsets, laptops, notebooks and desktop computers.
CONTACT: CHRIS PATTERSON