The Ministry of Transport and Works yesterday (August 15), launched its Annual Transport Statistics Report at a press conference held at the Ministry’s head offices on Maxfield Avenue.
Prepared by the Technical Services Unit of the Ministry, the report covers the 2003 to 2004 year period, and details statistical and infrastructure information related to the rail, road, public transportation, air and maritime sectors.
Minister of State in the Ministry, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who addressed the press conference, said the report marked a significant step in the life of the Ministry and would lend assistance in the overall development of all aspects of the planning process.
“The report contains a wide range of information, which will be of interest and will be useful to players, not only in the transportation sector, but to others in various other industries and sectors of the economy,” Dr. Ferguson explained.
“I believe that it will assist planners with a variety of interests to better approach their assignments,” he added.
He said that the data contained in the report would be utilised in the day-to-day operation of the Ministry and its agencies, and could also prove useful in terms of project planning and the construction of roads and bridges.
Dr. Ferguson said the report emerged out of the recognition by technicians working at the Ministry, that transport statistics were needed to support the National Transport Policy that has been forwarded to Parliament.
“This policy had to be supported by transportation statistics that would aid in well-informed policy decisions, planning and evaluation,” he said.
Endeavouring to develop a local transportation statistics system, in December of 1999 the Transport and Works Ministry signed a Memorandum of Co-operation with the United States Department of Transportation for the provision of technical assistance in the establishment of an Office of Transportation Statistics within the Ministry.Dr. Ferguson informed that the process of producing the transport statistics began with the establishment of a Steering Committee and a Project Implementation Committee.
He pointed out that the project implementation committee began the collection of data, and “this data has been updated and revised on a continuous basis as final statistics become available and, has resulted in the present document being launched”. Some 20 entities associated with the Ministry contributed statistical information to the report.
They include the Port Authority of Jamaica, Civil Aviation Authority, Professional Engineers Registration Board, National Works Agency, Jamaica Urban Transit Company, and the Port Security Corps Limited.
Dr. Ferguson said compilation of the report is intended to be an annual exercise.