Ministry Says Indiscipline Delays NTCS Replacement


Scheduled wrapping up of the sub-franchise arrangements between the National Transport Co-operative Society (NTCS) and the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), set for Wednesday (December 2), has been delayed pending completion of the evaluation of new sub-franchise operators.
“The evaluation process is therefore being extended to accommodate the new arrangements, during which time the police and the Transport Authority have been requested not to prosecute existing operators servicing the routes under the NTCS umbrella.
“Once the evaluation process for sub-franchise operators for the routes now served by the NTCS is completed, the planned replacement will be implemented,” the Ministry of Transport and Works said in a release on Tuesday (December 1).
The release pointed out that the JUTC recently advertised for proposals for sub-contractors to provide public transportation services on a number of routes. In response to the advertisements, a total of 295 applications were received for the 164 sub-franchise licences on offer. But, only 38 of the applications fully met the required criteria.
“The applicants were each required to submit the names and addresses of two referees from among justices of the peace, pastors or attorneys-at-law, and were asked to submit individual accident history reports, dating back three years in respect of the vehicles with which they were seeking the sub-franchise licences,” the release from the Ministry said.
The release added:”In some instances, applicants failed to submit valid insurance, registration and fitness certificates, although those requirements were explicitly stated in the advertisements to which they responded. Similarly, 96 of the applications proposed vehicles older than the 10 years stipulated in the advertisements, while 35 applications did not indicate which routes were being sought.
“As a result of the wide-scale failure among the applicants to qualify for the sub-franchise licences, the Ministry of Transport and Works has directed that the applicants who met the 10-year-old and under vehicle age requirement be advised of the shortcomings in their applications, so that the shortcomings can be met within 30 days of the correspondence.
“Additionally, two aspects of the original criteria have been slightly eased, resulting in more of the applicants so far, becoming eligible for the sub-franchise licences. Only one character reference is now required. Also, accident reports are now only required for individuals who have had the respective vehicles in the public passenger transportation business for over a year, and in such cases, the report is only required for the last year of operation. For applicants with less than one year’s experience in the PPV business, no accident report is required.
“The revised criteria will be re-advertised in the national newspapers beginning tomorrow, giving all interested persons another opportunity to submit proposals for the sub-franchises on offer. It is to be noted that the offer is to individual applicants or owners of multiple units, plus entities with either single or multiple units, once the units involved are owned by the respective applicants, whether as individuals or entities. In such cases, individual documents must be submitted in respect of each vehicle.
“Applicants with proposals already submitted, which met all the criteria as stated in the new advertisements in the papers, need not re-apply. These persons will be contacted shortly and advised of their eligibility to be processed for the sub-franchise licences.
“The evaluation process is therefore being extended to accommodate the new arrangements, during which time the police and the Transport Authority have been requested not to prosecute existing operators servicing the routes under the NTCS umbrella. It is to be noted than many of the existing NTCS operators are among the applicants being evaluated on an individual basis for the sub-franchise licences on offer.
“As the successful applicants are processed and licensed by the Transport Authority on an ongoing basis, a sticker is to be affixed to the respective units ahead of more formal rolling out of the colour-coding programme which is being unfolded by the Ministry of Transport and Works.
“Once the evaluation process for sub-franchise operators for the routes now served by the NTCS is completed, the planned replacement will be implemented.”

JIS Social