The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, will be implementing a rationalisation programme for all 51 Route Taxi Associations, over the next four months.
Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, who made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House on
July 10, said the landscape of public transportation can be further improved with the re-organisation of the operations of route taxis.
"The rationalisation process will result in associations with membership numbering fewer than 100 persons being required to consider the options of dissolution or merging with other associations; (and) establishment of a cap on the number of associations per parish. As such, each parish will be assigned a limit of two or three associations,” he said.
The Minister further revealed that reviews of membership, dues, operational efficiency and service delivery will form an integral part of the process.
Dr. Guy pointed out that when the Taxi Associations were formed in 2000, it was the intention that these entities would play a key role in the organisation of the route taxi operations and were encouraged to lobby their common interests in respect of certain benefits for their members. However, most have not lived up to that initial intent.
He noted that an organisation representing some of the umbrella groupings, which recently met with the Ministry, have revealed their intention to formulate a plan to self-regulate and police their operations, based on their own recognition that the industry is not delivering the standard of service required.
"They have even introduced a regulatory software programme, which they have developed and which has piqued our interest and to this end, we are pursuing further consultations to determine its applicability,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that the proposals of the organisation, “are on the same page as the proposal emanating from the Transport Authority. What this suggests is that both sides recognise the importance of the industry and the need to work to ensure its sustained viability.”
"The Ministry therefore, welcomes such a move; in fact encourages such a move. As an administration, we believe that this move will redound to the benefit of the travelling public as well as the operators. We are continuing the dialogue and we encourage all other groups which have not yet come on board to do so and, we stand and remain ready to initiate dialogue,” the Minister said.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter