Story Highlights

  • Mr. Montague argued that the level of indiscipline plaguing the transportation system results, to a great extent, from several persons “who should not be in this sector” treating it as “a little hustle business”.
  • Mr. Montague suggested that this could entail owners and operators importing their own vehicles and parts, as well as establishing facilities to service their units.
  • He suggested that they could offer their customers excursion services as well as Wi-Fi internet access which, he contended, would serve to attract more clients.

Come April 1, all drivers in the public transportation system will be required to wear uniforms.

This is the directive from Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, who says the stipulation will help to bring order and discipline to the sector.

“We have an opportunity to change the face of this industry… we are moving to chart a new course. We are moving to make this industry garner the respect that it ought to get,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at a Transport Stakeholders Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on February 7.

Mr. Montague argued that the level of indiscipline plaguing the transportation system results, to a great extent, from several persons “who should not be in this sector” treating it as “a little hustle business”.

“The public only sees the bad ones. We now have a responsibility to put the best foot forward,” he further contended.

The Minister said he is “dreaming of a new sector”, where stakeholders consult each other and collectively work towards creating a system that is of first world standard, with courteous staff.

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“What I want… is for you the operators in the business to take more responsibility and [be in] charge of your [activities],” he said.

Mr. Montague suggested that this could entail owners and operators importing their own vehicles and parts, as well as establishing facilities to service their units.

He further proposed training for operators, conductors and drivers to improve service delivery.

Mr. Montague said he is optimistic that the sector can be turned around by stakeholders who have earned the trust of their customers.

“Every day, thousands of mothers hand their six, seven and eight year old children to the custody and care of a taxi or a bus operator,” he pointed out.

In the meantime, Mr. Montague urged transport operators to explore opportunities to add greater value to their business and increase earnings.

He suggested that they could offer their customers excursion services as well as Wi-Fi internet access which, he contended, would serve to attract more clients.

Additionally, the Minister said operators could use their vehicles to display advertisements, and indicated that he is in discussion with the Transport Authority to establish a framework that facilitates this.

“The average ride is about 15 minutes and you about four/five persons captive for that time. You can earn money out of that time,” Mr. Montague pointed out.

Story originally published at JIS.gov.jm

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