No Government arrangement with Uber in Jamaica, says Vaz Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport (MSETT) has advised that there is no agreement between the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and ride-hailing company, Uber International, to operate in Jamaica.

In a release on Tuesday, the ministry said following Uber’s introduction to the Jamaican market in 2021, the Transport Authority (TA), through the then Ministry of Transport and Mining, met with various stakeholders to address the implications of the company’s presence in the country and establish the regulatory framework under which it falls.

The ministry said there has yet to be any agreement on the way forward, but noted that an offer is on the table for discussion, “which is being reviewed by the Transport Authority”.

In the release, the ministry said the Government’s position is that the law requires that every person operating a public passenger motor vehicle for a fee in Jamaica , must first obtain a road licence and the drivers need to display a badge that has been issued by the Transport Authority.

The release said the Portfolio Minister, Daryl Vaz, “is emphasising that if any licensed public passenger vehicle operator in Jamaica is found to have an agreement with Uber contrary to the terms and conditions of their licence (with the TA), that licence will be subject to revocation by the Transport Authority.”

Daryl Vaz

The release also said President of the Montego Bay Maxi Taxi Association, Gregg Connell, has given a commitment to the ministry that the association will not enter into any agreement with Uber until the Cabinet has decided on the matter of the international company’s operation in Jamaica.

This was said to have followed an announcement on January 30, 2024, that Uber Taxi is now available in parts of western and northern Jamaica. It was reportedly said then that Uber Taxi is a collaboration between Uber and the Montego Maxi Taxi Association.

“The GOJ continues to work with stakeholders to provide decent and sustainable transportation services to the people of Jamaica, and to protect the interest of those who operate under the regulations of the Jamaican law,” concluded the Transport Ministry in the release on Tuesday.