KINGSTON — Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, says he will be taking a zero tolerance approach to illegal operators who seek to evade structures created to ensure safe and reliable public transport services.
At the same time, Mr. Henry said he believes that public transport monitoring and regulatory systems should facilitate and encourage order, safety, and reliability, while fostering and enabling a viable environment for legitimate public transport operators.
He was speaking on Tuesday August 9 at the official handing over of the Island Traffic Authority/Transport Authority sticker system, at Intercity Transport Limited in Portmore, St. Catherine.
He said that the new sticker system resulted from months of intense consultations between the Ministry and the Island Traffic Authority (ITA)/Transport Authority (TA), in an effort to make the public transportation system more efficient and safe.
“I am pleased that both entities were able to collaborate with public passenger vehicle operators, and develop a system to minimise interruptions in their operations while ensuring the safety of the commuting public,” he stated.
The special stickers will be used to designate vehicles that have been inspected and certified roadworthy by the certifying officers, during joint operations involving the TA/ITA and the police. The sticker will minimize interruptions in the operations of legitimate public passenger vehicle operators and increase the productivity and earning potential of their vehicles.
Mr. Henry said the stickers will also help to lessen the inconvenience of having PPV operators being stopped repeatedly in one day for the same inspection, as the stickers will allow them a 30-day window to operate after each inspection.
He said the sticker system will be introduced in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) and its effectiveness assessed, over a six-month period, after which a determination will be made on implementation in other metropolitan areas.
Chairman of the board of the Transport Authority, George Johnson, said the ITA/TA sticker will improve the regulatory framework for public transportation.
“The TA is committed to its mandate to regulate and monitor public transportation, to ensure a safe and reliable public transportation system,” he stated.
Mr. Johnson also noted that the TA will not condone indiscipline from PPV operators, nor members of its Inspectorate Division.
ITA Director, Paul Clemetson, said he was pleased that the collaborative effort has created a system for maintaining the smooth operations of the transport sector.
“As an authority, we continue to keep the communications channel open, inviting all our stakeholders to collaborate with us and with all state agencies, for a safe ordered and well organised transportation system,” he stated.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter