JIS News

The fifth in a series of Transport Authority’s (TA) Parish Consultation Meetings was held at Rooms on the Beach, Ocho Rios, St. Ann on Tuesday (August 31).
The meetings, which are geared to sensitising operators, commuters and residents about the public transportation sector, also seek to garner information from participants on how best they can be served by the Authority.
“The Transport Authority wants to be a first world regulator of public transportation and commercial land transport, and so this is a unique and useful opportunity for us to get the feedback that we need to create that master plan for transportation in Jamaica,” Communications and Customer Services Manager at the TA, Petra-Keene Williams, told JIS News.
The Transport Authority is in the process of redefining, reshaping and developing new strategies to address public transportation concerns, she stated. She also noted that the sessions have been successful, and that meetings were already held in St James, St. Mary, Kingston and Manchester.
“We believe that the transportation system should be safe and reliable for one and all and, therefore, these consultations are timely, because they provide a look into the mindset of operators, into the needs of commuters and also into the critical issues that are affecting the operations of various township and parishes, in respect of public transportation,” Miss Williams explained.
She said that the consultation session in St. Ann was the final in the series for the year, but that next year the remaining parishes should look forward to meetings being held in their towns.
JIS sought feedback from participants at the Ocho Rios session, including from President of the Milex Taxi Association, Daniel Scott, who described it as very effective. He praised the meeting for catering to a “broad spectrum of persons”, from the operational side as well as commuters.
“What it did is that it opened my eyes to a lot of problems that we are experiencing, and I hope that, as the problems are put on the table, the Transport Authority will put the necessary measures in place to work with us to alleviate them,” Mr. Scott said.
President of the St. Ann Central Taxi Association, Doris Murphy, said that she benefited a lot from the meeting.
“I am glad that the taxi operators and the commuters could come together, in a forum like this where the commuters could say what they would like and what they do not like, and the taxi operators could state their problems, as well” she said.
She singled out the question and answer session, as the most beneficial.
“It was really interesting, and I am appealing to the taxi operators and the commuters to try to cooperate with each other, because I am sure that if they seek to cooperate with each other, then we can have a better taxi service,” Miss Murphy told JIS News.

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