Jamaica News: Three buses valued at approximately $28 million have been procured by the Government to improve the comfort and well-being of employees of the Transport Authority.
They were acquired based on a decision taken years ago by the Transport Authority and unions representing the employees.
Two of the buses, which are Toyota Coasters, will remain in Kingston, while the third, a Toyota Hiace, will be used in Montego Bay.
Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, has informed that more buses are on the way, “so that every region will get two small buses”.
Mr. Montague was speaking at a ceremony to hand over the buses to the staff of the Transport Authority at its offices on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston on June 19.
“I have also given clear instructions to the Board to make sure that the drivers you get to carry my workers are the best in the business… . We are the Transport Authority, and our drivers must set an example for other drivers on the road,” he said.
He encouraged the staff to treat the buses as if they belong to them, and ensure that they are properly maintained.
Meanwhile, Mr. Montague has renewed his invitation for stakeholder input on the 15-point plan to overhaul the transport sector, which he unveiled in his 2018/19 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives.
A six-month window of opportunity will be opened to enable persons to make additional suggestions to his proposals, in an effort to instil order and stability in the public transport system.
Among the proposals are that all taxis be fitted with a stipulated vehicle locator that must always be on; that all drivers must be in possession of an up-to-date badge; and that if operators accumulate 10 points against their badge, it be immediately suspended.
Other proposals are that all drivers must submit proof of participation in customer service driver education annually, which will be administered in partnership with associations; and that illegal taxis be seized if no attempt is made to regularise their status.
For his part, Managing Director of the Transport Authority, Cecil Morgan, expressed gratitude to the Minister for “all the support given” to the entity charged with responsibility for the licensing of all public and commercial vehicles and regulating and monitoring public transportation in Jamaica.
He assured the Minister that the entity will do everything that is “in keeping with the vision” he has put forward as well as the “vision that we have also crafted for ourselves”.