WATCH: Westmoreland taxi operators relieved over adjustments to public order reset
The taxi operators, Councillors, and Candidate Councillors sit in anticipation of the outcome of the meeting that was held Saturday, to remedy the issues faced by the operators.

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica— After mounting roadblocks and withdrawing their services on Monday in protest of the Public Order Reset, the Westmoreland taxi operators are this evening crying a sigh of relief after they were granted permission to go on Great George Street starting Monday, October 31.

The Westmoreland police and the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation since October 18 have rolled out a Public Order Reset initiative seeking to restore law and order and to rid the town of Savanna-la-Mar of unruly motorists and illegal vending, but the operations was met with a pushback from the taxi operators.

READ: Public order warning issued for vendors, taxi/bus operators in Westmoreland

Commanding Officer for Westmoreland Senior Superintendent Wayne Josephs broke the news Saturday at a meeting with the taxi operators, Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Transport Authority and the police at the Godfrey Stewart High school.

“I do not want in any way to hinder anyone from making a livelihood. I have decided in conjunction to the Transport authority that we will relax the prosecutions for taxi operators who do not have Great George Street on their license, to go downtown,” SSP Josephs said.

However the senior superintendent said it will be a trial run as they will be examining, and watching the operation to see how feasible it is.

“You’re getting one month trial run and we’re going to see how the taxi operators operate, how you respond and then we will have dialogue, discussions, recommendations as to whether or not we think it can work,” SSP Josephs cautioned.

He added that the issue of designated stops will also be addressed.

Rayan Grant a taxi operator who plies the Savanna-la-Mar to Whitehouse route told OBSERVER ONLINE that he is happy with the move.

“It was a terrific meeting, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m happy I’m excited!” an overjoyed Grant said as he smiled.

The operators who also had an issue with the readiness of the Savanna-la-Mar transport centre were told by the Chief Executive Officer for the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation Marvalyn Pitter that work has started.

Meanwhile, one taxi operator raised the concern of the high cost to use the restroom at the transport centre, which stands at $100 per use.

His concern was greeted with other good news from the Municipal Corporation. Mayor Bertel Moore and Pitter raised a motion that the operators only pay $100 per day for using the facilities.

The announcement was met with applause and smiles, from the taxi operators, who said they were very pleased.

Chairman of the National Council of Taxi Operations Business Committee, Patrick Forrester told OBSERVER ONLINE that he too is pleased with the outcome of the meeting.

Forrester had pleaded with the authorities at the start of the meeting to allow his operators to go on Great George Street.

“Words can’t express how I’m feeling about the outcome. It has been very fruitful - the discussion we had- and I must say commendations to the police especially and the transport authority, and the Municipal Corporation because they have really looked into the issues and came up with amicable solutions,” a grateful Forrester said.

-Kimberley Peddie

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