Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, says measures will be immediately implemented to get operators of public passenger vehicles to use the Linstead Transport Centre, in St. Catherine.
Speaking with Reporters after meeting with stakeholders at the facility on July 15, the Minister said there will be greater collaboration between the police, the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation and the Transport Authority (TA), to get the operators to comply.
“We are going to be having a permanent presence of Transport Authority officers at this transport centre. They will work with a special team from the police and Municipal Corporation,” he said, adding that the National Works Agency (NWA) will also be engaged to “come up” with a traffic flow plan for Linstead.
He said some one way roads will shortly be turned into two-way roads, and all the transport centres, starting with Linstead, will be having a register to record the usage by operators.
The Minister pointed out that the information will be forwarded to the TA, and this will be taken into consideration when they seek to renew their licences.
Mr. Montague also disclosed that to create more order in the system, the police and the TA will immediately begin a programme to sensitise robot operators to regularise their operations, while meetings will be held with the various associations, so that they can put to their members, reasons why they must abide by the regulations governing the transport industry.
The Minister said efforts will be intensified to get drivers, operators and owners of vehicles in the sector to become familiar with the rules under which they operate, which are now available on an app developed by the TA, and can be downloaded on mobile phones and other devices.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott, and Member of Parliament for St. Catherine North West, Hugh Graham, have endorsed the plan outlined by Minister Montague.
The construction of the Transport Centre in 2016 was spearheaded by the Transport Authority, with the ability to accommodate the 292 route taxis and 110 rural buses plying routes between Linstead and several communities across St. Catherine, as well as those into Kingston and Spanish Town.
Rural communities that are served include Bog Walk, Guy’s Hill, Riversdale, West Prospect and Cheesefield.
WRITTEN BY: GARFIELD L. ANGUS