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New licensing regime for Tourism Transport sub-sector

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Thursday, June 23, 2005 - The Transport Division of the Ministry of Communication, Works, Transport and Public Utilities is pressing ahead with the implementation of a new licensing system for the tourism transport sub-sector. The new system comes in the wake of the latest training programme implemented by the Ministry of Tourism a few months ago, in an effort to restructure and streamline the tourism transportation sub-sector.

Under the new Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, the Transport Division has commenced a two month initiative aimed at regulating the issuance of licenses of operators within that sector. Acting Chief Transport Officer Annette Augustine says once completed, effective enforcement will start, making it easier for traffic police to weed out the illegal operators.

For two weeks, Ministry officials have been registering and issuing permits to taxi operators based on their affiliation to various taxi associations. “The whole process includes their applications forms, which have been recommended and processed to an extent by the Ministry of Tourism, now being completed by the Transport Department,” says Augustine.

Taxi operators she notes are now being issued with their licences for the operation of tourism taxis. “This entails the inspection of their motor vehicles to make sure it complies with minimum standards as set by the tourism transport sub-sector, the issuing of their permits which is valid for two years and the issuing of a driver licence which would indicate to persons wishing to solicit the services of these operators that this individual is a bona fide tourism taxi operator within the system.”

The new system Augustine says does not affect existing tourism taxis (TX ) plate holders but rather reinforces and provides additional protection to legitimate operators, bringing them under the proper constituted authority of the Transport Department as outlines in the Motor Vehicle Act.

The new regime also boasts of other advantages in that only persons owning motor vehicles will be issued with a license plate as oppose to the former system which awarded a license to everyone who receives the training.

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