Transport, Works & Housing Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies along with Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell and other officials toured the St. Ann’s Bay Examination Depot on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.

This was in an effort to get a first hand view of the facility which has been earmarked for upgrading and refurbishing. Construction of the new facility has already begun.

Speaking on the tour, Minister Davies said, “The rehabilitation works are long overdue…this St. Ann’s Bay Depot happens to be one of the really bad ones. He said the upgrade will benefit both the public and staff members who have been working in poor conditions.

The Island Traffic Authority (ITA) has fourteen (14) examination depots across the island, all of which are targeted for upgrade. Physically the plants are in a deplorable state and in need of repair/construction works to improve their infrastructure and to also facilitate the improvement of framework for modernization. The upgrade works will be carried out on a phased basis over a 4 to 5 year period. The following depots have the greatest need for upgrade:

St. Ann’s Bay
Black River
Spanish Town Road
Spanish Town 
May Pen
Montego Bay

For the financial year 2013/2014 the following plants have been identified for urgent rehabilitation:

  • St. Ann’s Bay
  • Spanish Town Road
  • Swallowfield
  • Montego Bay

The estimated sum to be spent on the entire programme is $38M. The St. Ann’s Bay Examination Depot, one of those with the greatest need has received - $12.5m to provide containerized offices. The rest of the allocation will go towards:

  • Montego Bay
  • Spanish Town Road
  • Swallowfield

The ITA has implemented strategies to aid in the proficiency of the depots to help reduce waiting time for customers. For example a queuing system was implemented on a phased basis at the Swallowfield Examination Depot, which has drastically reduced the waiting period for customers. Service has generally improved at all depots across the island.

The ITA has also created a Standard Operating Procedure Manual that will aid in the uniformity of how depots carry out their daily functions and should lead to greater accountability from officers and better customer service. Additionally, an ITA website is being developed in an effort to improve the customer experience. The website will have features for customers to get information and they will also be able to email queries and get responses.

At Depots across the island a Vehicle Inspection Checklist has been created for the dual purpose of gathering relevant information and get feedback from customers regarding service delivery. At the Head Office there has been the streamlining of processes to deal with the turnaround time for queries from the public. Additionally, with requests for substitute licences from the TAJ the department has reduced the turnaround time for applications to the TAJ, moving from in some instances weeks to days; in other cases same day responses are now possible.

Recently too, in an effort to also increase the efficiency of two of the most used depots, trucks weighing over 5,000kg in the Corporate Area were re-directed to use the facilities at the Harbour View Weigh Scale Station for examination purposes. This will result in less congestion at the Swallowfield and Spanish Town Road Depots.

We have also significantly increased the service to dealers/estates who submit requests for inspection of multiple vehicles/units on their property. All these are helping to transform the ITA into a more proficient and customer focused entity.