Vaz cites lack of communication and politics behind PPV withdrawal Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Transport Minister Daryl Vaz has described Monday’s withdrawal of service by some public passenger vehicle (PPV) operators as being premature and likely caused by inadequate communication about particular grouses of the operators.

While describing the withdrawal of service as having has moderate impact on the commuting public, Vaz said in a media release that the action was surprising, as a meeting to discuss the particular grouses is set for Tuesday, and that was announced from last week.

In calling for the operators to desist from any disruption of their service to the commuting public, Vaz said: “I want to believe that it is a communication situation. However, at this point I will continue to watch through the day. Again, I’m calling for good order – good sense – to prevail. I have already given a commitment that the matters will be addressed tomorrow at a meeting, and will be a part of the review of the Road Traffic Act, which ends at the end of June.”

He cited that central to the operators’ grievances is the fear of losing their licenses due to accumulated demerit points from various traffic offenses, and said they are advocating for amendments to the demerit points system, particularly for offenses such as failure to wear seat belts and illegal parking.

Additionally, Vaz said there are concerns among the operators about the affordability of fines, such as those for cell phone use.

However, he cited another factor which he said is believed to be at work in respect of the withdrawal of service by the PPV operators.

“For those who are using it for political reasons, I ask you to desist, especially in relation to the roadblocks that have been mounted using trees and stones and other things to interrupt the flow of ordinary law-abiding citizens. It is totally unnecessary, and I call on you to desist and allow the process of communication, collaboration and consensus, which is how I operate, to continue and we will get the desired results” said Vaz.

The release stated that the planned withdrawal is slated to last for five days, and said the Transport Authority (TA) has deployed teams across the affected areas to provide reassurance and assist with the transportation of students and other commuters.