Operators in the public transport sector are seeking to form a credit union and also to establish an insurance company that will directly meet the needs of members.
These are among several suggestions that came out of a report submitted to the Ministry of Transportation and Mines at a transportation stakeholder conference hosted by the Transportation Authority at the Sandals Ocho Rios hotel in St Ann yesterday.
The conference attracted 130 stakeholders from the transport sector, with 350 more live on Facebook.
Organized under the theme “Changing the mindset, finding the solution”, the conference sought to explore several proposals from the participants who were divided into three groups.
The suggestions, which covered short-, medium- and long-term goals, were varied and while most sought increased benefits for taxi operators, there were also suggestions that would see operators give back.
Other recommendations include taxi operators to benefit from the reduction in the cost of fuel; increasing the liability of the PPV coverage currently offered by insurance companies by $ 2 million; reduce the processing time for accident claims; the establishment of an electronic ticketing system; modernization of transport centers and their facilities; appropriate control of routes to allow operation similar to that of taxis; training of people in the sector to improve service delivery; the establishment of a recognition and reward system; greater collaboration between taxi operators and the Transport Authority; implement a solid flexi-work policy for operators; give transport associations the power to regulate members; and diversify the modes of transportation offered in Jamaica.
Addressing the issue of diversification, Transport Minister Robert Montague reminded transport operators that a student train service, between Old Harbor and Spanish Town, is expected to come into operation in September, and that a service Ferries should be introduced, primarily for entertainment purposes, between Kingston and Port Royal.
“We are reviving the rail. Next September we will be setting up a school rail service from Old Harbor to Spanish Town and Linstead to Spanish Town, ”said the Minister.
He added, “We’re going to be running a Three Mile line downtown… mainly on weekends as an attraction. We are (also) talking to a boat operator to run a ferry service, not as a passenger service at first, but for entertainment.
Montague also reiterated that drivers with overdue tickets would soon no longer be allowed to enter the system.
“At the next Traffic Authority meeting, I was told that no driver will get a badge if you have overdue tickets,” Montague said.