THREE major public transport organisations — representing over 90 per cent of the private operators in the sector — have teamed to form the Public Passenger Vehicle Modernisation Council (PPVMC) to improve their service to commuters.
Presidents of the Route Taxi Association of Jamaica (RTAJ); the National Council of Taxi Associations (NCOTA); and, the Jamaica Association of Hackney Carriages (JAHC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Four Seasons Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday, which commits them to membership of the council as the designated entity to spearhead the modernisation of the sector.
The PPVMC is expected to lead a process of modernisation of the privately-owned public transport sector, to effect meaningful and wide-ranging changes through the use of technology, research, public education, advocacy, networking, and the development of operational standards based on best practices.
According to PPVMC spokesman, Raymond Gabbidon, the operators recognise that the quality of service to commuters has to improve, and the "hustling mentality" removed.
"I commend the three organisations which have come together to form the council for their vision," he said.
President of the RTAJ, Sophia Campbell, said that the sector was both unique and unstructured, and with most of the vehicles owned by individuals rather than a government or private sector entity, it is difficult to manage the human resources. However, she said that with the technology and communication resources the council will be able to access through the new system, they will be able to monitor the over 60,000 persons involved in the sector, ranging from drivers to operators.
"As of now, we will move as one and speak with one voice, going forward, as was always our vision," she said.
Other speakers were NCOTA's President, Dion Chance, and JAHC's president, Willard Costley.