Opinion: Who Owns The Taxis and Buses, And Why Is This A State Secret?
Just as we were trying to wrap our heads around news last month of a coaster bus driver causing an eight-car accident while having 120 outstanding tickets, some bus and taxi drivers in Jamaica decided to strike.
Their aim was to pressure the government into issuing an amnesty for those operators who’ve racked up unpaid traffic tickets, but they were unsuccessful.
Now we’re getting more information about just how negligent some drivers have been.
According to Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, there are more than 2,000 drivers with over 100 tickets each and about 50 drivers that have accumulated more than 500 tickets apiece. He told me that while the figures from the Ministry of National Security represent drivers in general, they’re “most likely public passenger vehicle drivers.”
So how are PPV drivers allowed to rack up this many tickets and keep their jobs when driving for bus and taxi owners?
Who are the owners of these vehicles that allow them to keep driving?
In July of this year, while seeking the information for a different story, I requested under the Access to Information Act, “a list of all the associations, entities or individuals that are licensed to carry public passengers in this country whether taxi, bus or other?”
Within nine days, Jamaica’s Transport Authority (TA) advised that it is “unable” to grant access under the Act for the following reasons: