The Transport Authority (TA) is putting measures in place to improve the public transportation landscape.
Managing Director of the Authority, Willard Hylton, told JIS News that the University of the West Indies Lecturer, Dr. K’adamawe K’nife, has been engaged as a consultant to assist with the effort, which is aimed at improving service delivery in alignment with Vision 2030.
He said that Dr. K’nife is assisting the authority to develop and implement a new road-licensing system.
“We are embracing a new way of issuing licences, which is currently done on an open-and-closed basis. We will be moving towards a market-driven situation,” he said.
“Under the new arrangement, it will not matter how many persons apply. If there are too many operators on one route, the market will fix that. If someone applies for a route, they will have 30 days to determine if it is working. If not, they can make the change,” Mr. Hylton explained.
The new measures will also see road licences for public passenger vehicles being renewed on the birthdate of the owner of the vehicle if it is registered in the owner’s name.
If the vehicle is registered in the name of a company, renewal of the licence will become due on the anniversary of the incorporation of the company.
Mr. Hylton said that the changes will address the problem of crowding at the TA during the annual licensing period, which was exacerbated during the COVID-19 experience.
The consultant will also be writing project proposals to seek funding for the capacity-building of the sector.
Mr. Hylton told JIS News that the taxi associations will be bolstered to better enable them to provide support for their members in the new licensing dispensation.
“You have route taxi associations through which our licensees make their applications. We want to strengthen the ability of those route taxi associations to prepare the drivers and operators for Vision 2030,” he noted.
He informed that the Authority will also be retrofitting its facilities to accommodate persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Mr. Hylton told JIS News that the Authority is “looking at how we can start building out something that represents world-class standards, so these changes are necessary”.
He noted that the improvements being made to the transport sector entails more than just having nice-looking buses but also ensuring proper organisation of all modes of public transportation.
This, he noted, includes making sure that the vehicles can cater to “not just able-bodied persons but also children, the elderly and the disabled”.
“Whatever we are doing, it should be comparable to what happens in developed countries, so that’s what we are focusing on right now,” he added.