JIS News

The Transport Authority will begin accepting applications for licences for public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers for the 2007/08 licencing period, on February 15.
This include both new and renewable applications, as all licences in these categories, except for rural stage licences, which are renewable every four years, will expire on March 31. Vehicles in these groups include stage carriage, contract carriage, hackney carriage and route taxis.
Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who made the announcement at a press briefing held at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices this morning (Feb. 13), pointed out that with the anticipated significant pressure on the Transport Authority’s four islandwide locations, the Authority has traditionally accepted applications from as early as February 15 of each year.
“I am aware that from time to time, some persons may have experienced difficulties in processing applications for licences. It is against this background that the Transport Authority has reorganized its operations to improve the level of service afforded to its customers,” he said.
The Minister noted that acceptance of new applications for public passenger vehicles had been discontinued in October last year, in order to accommodate an islandwide rationalization survey, which is expected to take six months to complete. The survey will be carried out in segments according to the licencing area, and as such, Mr. Pickersgill emphasized that, “new applications will be accepted for a limited period until all the arrangements have been finalized”.
Planning for the survey is underway, with the actual survey scheduled to begin in June. “Let me take this opportunity to appeal to operators of public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers to apply for licences now, as the Authority will again have to suspend processing of new applications in order to effectively undertake this survey,” he stressed.Continuing, he pointed out that it was through the licensing of these vehicles that the Authority, and by extension the Ministry, is able to standardize the operations of public and land transportation. “The licensing of public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers also lays the foundation for assessing the security, quality and efficiency of transportation in the island,” Mr. Pickersgill said.
Up to December 2006, the Authority issued 44,578 licences to operators of public passenger vehicles and commercial carriers. Route taxis accounted for12,257; public carriers, 8,676; private carriers, 18,623; rural stage carriage 745; hackney carriage, 1,574; and contract carriage, 2,703.
The Minister noted that despite the significant increase in private motor cars, the majority of Jamaicans use public passenger vehicles to conduct their business.