Vice Chairperson Policy,
Advocacy and Projects
Commonwealth Youth Council
Priority Bus route maxi operators who take passengers up to Tunapuna, yet charge the full Port-of-Spain fare, are breaking the law and could lose their bus route passes, Works Minister Suruj Rambachan said yesterday. He said many complaints had been received about such operators, including from children.
He said it was reported that some operators took up passengers along the routes but dropped them off at Tunapuna and turned back but charged the full Port-of-Spain fare. He added: “That’s breaking the law. It’s wrong and unfair, especially for children. We met the Maxi Taxi Association and they were informed that people who do this risk losing their passes and they have agreed and welcomed the intervention.”
Rambachan said traffic wardens would be out now to monitor the situation. He said warnings would be issued first, following which repeat offenders would lose their bus route pass. He added signs would be posted at points where errant drivers drop off passengers and they would carry information and access numbers and addresses for lodging complaints at the ministry.
Rambachan also said a pilot “Speed Spot” enforcement initiative would be launched early next year to track those who violated the speed limits. That would involve taking photos of offending vehicles along the Beetham, Churchill-Roosevelt, Solomon Hochoy and Uriah Butler Highways, he added. The plan involves measuring speeds, getting an image and processing information. It will be tested, via a six-month pilot project. The cost of two cameras for two locations is $3 million.
Justice Minister Emmanuel George also announced a $3 million plan—from 2015-2017 in its first phase—to rehabilitate prisoners in jail for drug trafficking and consumption. He said a provider for the initiative would be sought through the Central Tenders Board. He noted a similar plan was in force previously but no monitoring mechanisms were in place to gauge its effectiveness.
For the upcoming plan, such monitoring would be done by police and ministry, he added.