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Amendment of Transport Authority Act to help modernise its operations


DRAFTING instructions have been completed for amendment to the Transport Authority Act, in support of the legislative framework for the sector, Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague told the House of Representatives this week.

Incorporating provisions from the Road Traffic Act, 1938, the amended Act will allow for varied expiration dates, birthday (or date of incorporation) renewals, crafting, and extension of routes.

It also allows for the facilitation of the market-driven approach for the granting of licences, electronic monitoring, and regulating, as well as provisions for the protection of employees and facilities of the Transport Authority, public passenger vehicle operators, and the commuting public from violence during the course of operation.

Montague said as part of the reform of the sector, the Transport Authority continues digitisation of its operations under its Digital Transformation project.

The Digital Transformation Project, he said, will allow the authority to use information and communications technology (ICT) to increase customer satisfaction and improve its products and processes.

This, he said, is being complemented by the roll-out of the Drive Safe mobile application and a WhatsApp account providing new platforms for members of the public to post images and videos of traffic violations and the development of a public passenger vehicle (PPV) driver training application.

“When completed, the Digital Transformation Project should result in customers benefiting from digital licences, smart monitoring, as well as mobile automated service delivery in all areas of the Transport Authority,” the minister said.

Technology, he added, has been infused in the licensing activities with the implementation of the Regional Licence Approval Platform.

“This resulted in immediate improvements in the processing and delivery of new PPV licences to customers. The roll-out of several online applications for public passenger vehicles has also helped to increase the authority’s efficiency in processing applications,” said the minister.

He told the House that following consultations with industry stakeholders a number of strategies have been implemented to improve service quality, order, and safety in the public passenger transportation sector.

Among these is the successful roll out of the cashless system at its corporate office, in collaboration with a number of financial institutions. This, he noted, enhances the safety and security of employees and customers.

Additionally, monitoring activities have continued islandwide, in partnerships with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Island Traffic Authority, to bring greater order and safety to public transportation operations.

– JIS

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