Jamaica News: Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), which represents taxi and bus operators, says while it supports a work-from-home recommendation by the Government, the impact of such a move will be devastating to the already fragile public transport sector.
“With an already depleting income and increased overhead expenditure, we again call on the Government to consider a grant or loan window for the sector,” TODSS President Egeton Newman said.
“To date thousands of operators have not received the promised COVID grant; a continued plea to the JUTC for a waiver for sub franchise operators has gone unnoticed; St Thomas and Clarendon operators are unable to work because of the lockdown; and with the further proposed restrictions this week, this essential sector will crash if consideration is not given to our survival,” Newman said.
He added: “We are aware of the present pandemic, but we provide a service to the productive sector and therefore need the support like any other group or sector to survive.”
He said the group is recommending that the Prime Minister keep Robert Montague as Minister of Transport, so he can continue the work he has started and meet with the sector in the next few days to address their concerns.
Meanwhile, the group says it was pledging its full support to the Andrew Holness administration for the sustainable development of the public transport sector.
Last week Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said owing to the start of community spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica, starting today, the Government would be implementing stricter COVID control measures, which could include re-implementing the work-from-home orders, and stricter curfew measures.