Monday 24 June, 2019

Montague to address transport stakeholder conference on Thursday

Robert Montague

Robert Montague

Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, is to deliver the keynote address on Thursday at a Transport Stakeholders’ Conference that is scheduled to be held under the theme ‘Driving Jamaica into the Future’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

The conference is to involve a number of stakeholder groups from the public transportation sector. The one-day conference is to begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at approximately 3:00 p.m.

In a statement, the ministry said upon assuming responsibility for the Transport Ministry in March of last year, in May of the same year, Minister Montague outlined 16 proposals for the transformation and reformation of the transport sector. The proposals were made during the minister’s contribution to the 2018/2019 Sectoral Debate in Parliament.

The release said following the proposals, the ministry engaged in a range of consultations with groups representing public transport operators and members of the commuting public. Among the series of consultations that were held was a meeting in June 2018 at Wolmer’s Boys’ School Auditorium in Kingston. The meeting was said to have drawn participation from members of the public, along with representatives of rural stage carriages, contract carriages, hackney carriages and route taxi associations.

A stakeholder consultation exercise was also reportedly held with financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, loan agencies and insurance companies during an event at  Hotel Four Seasons in St Andrew in November last year.

Another stakeholder consultation was said to have been held with Government agencies which have enforcement responsibilities within the transport sector. The agencies included the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), various municipal corporations and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. That consultation was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew in September 2018.

The statement from the Transport Ministry said at Thursday’s conference, Montague is to make several announcements and expand on his vision for the reformation and restoration of order in the transport sector to make it work in a more mutually-beneficial manner for all the stakeholders, including commuters, transport operators and regulators. The conference is also geared at providing a medium for additional engagement between policymakers and the other stakeholder groups.

Among the recommendations that were made by Montague was the opening up of all public transportation routes. He has taken the position that persons should be able to design and craft their own routes and apply for them to be registered.

The minister also recommended the implementation of a stipulated vehicle locator system to bring greater accountability and enhance the security of both transport operators and commuters.

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