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Montague wants lower interest rates, insurance premiums for PPV operators

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, today appealed to several stakeholders in the financial sector, including banks, credit unions and insurance companies, to partner with the Government in seeking to identify mechanisms to reduce the interest rates on loans and insurance premiums offered to the owners of public passenger vehicles (PPVs).

The minister, who was speaking at the third in the series of public consultations on the 16-point Transportation Reform Proposal held at the Hotel Four Seasons, also indicated that many operators identified the cost of insurance and loans as a major obstacle in legalising their operations.

Meanwhile, Montague acknowledged that the ministry would consider recommendations such as auctioning and reclaiming of vehicles by financiers instead of the earlier proposal to crush the vehicles of recalcitrant operators.

In responding to the calls for greater monitoring and enforcement, he outlined that the Transport Authority has begun the recruitment drive for the employment of 50 additional route inspectors to strengthen its enforcement arm.

Additionally, Montague, urged unlicenced operators to take advantage of the opportunities available under the Public Transportation Liberalisation Pilot Project to apply for road licences, by the November 30 deadline, as there would be no extension.

In April 2018, the transport minister announced a 16-point Transportation Reform Proposal to transform the public transportation system and effect the needed changes in the sector during his sectoral presentation.

To date, two other consultations have been held with several public transportation associations, as well as Government stakeholders such as the municipal councils, National Works Agency, the police and the Island Traffic Authority.

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