Mikael Phillips calls for cushion to new toll ratesMonday, June 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Mikael Phillips, says he has written to the Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, urging him to consider a mechanism to cushion the effect of the new toll rates on the commuting public.
Phillips wrote the minister today regarding the “Notice of Intention to vary Toll” under the Toll Roads Act, which was published in the newspapers over the signature of the transport minister, dated June 14, 2021.
He said he was fully aware of the provisions of the Act and the clauses in the Tolling Policy Agreement, including Schedule 15 of the Concession Agreement, which permit an annual application for an increase in the toll tariffs.
However, Phillips questioned the timing of the minister's intention to approve such a significant increase of ten per cent at this time.
“The people of Jamaica, particularly the residents of Portmore, are still suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are not even back to full salaries, as, during the lockdown, some companies cut wages and emoluments to maintain staff. As a result, affordability is an issue for residents, whether using private or public transport,” Phillips said.
The Member of Parliament said although the minister had no power to delay either annual reviews or orders by the Toll Authority, he nonetheless called on him to devise an approach to cushion the severe impact on the commuting public before the new rates take effect on the first weekend of July 2021.
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