Legal coaster bus capacity is 22, Transport Ministry says

Legal coaster bus capacity is 22, Transport Ministry says

Monday, April 29, 2013

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Transport Ministry today addressed concerns by coaster bus operators regarding the number of passengers permitted by the Island Traffic Authority (ITA). 

A statement from the Ministry said that operators of such buses are limited to carrying 22 passengers despite having a seat capacity of up to 29.

The disparity resulted in some bus operators mounting demonstrations today where a call for a meeting with the ITA was issued. 

However, the Ministry has sought to explain what has been construed as an incongruity in passenger carriage limits. 
Director of the ITA, Ludlow Powell, insisted that the issue does not represent an inconsistency as the decision of the ITA is grounded in law. 
He said that in years past the flip seats in the aisles were counted as part of the vehicles’ passenger carriage capacity. 
However, Powell said that for the last three years, the Authority has been enforcing provisions of the relevant Act with a view to ensuring the safety of passengers.   
Powell said that the regulations state "there shall be unobstructed accessibility from every seat to at least two exits.
“Furthermore, regulation 81 (1) points to the width of every gangway (aisle) being no less than 14 inches.”

The issue was highlighted recently during a meeting between the ministry and transport operators, following which Minister, Omar Davies, requested a comprehensive report of all the issues affecting the players in the transport sector.

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