Nine new vehicles were commissioned at the Transport Authority on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. The vehicles are expected to boost the capacity of the Authority to execute its functions in an effective way.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister without portfolio (Housing), Hon. Dr. Morais Guy said that he was very pleased to be associated with the commissioning as it (the acquisition of the vehicles) only served to enhance the capacity of the Authority to carry out its function of regulating the public transport environment in the country. He noted that more vehicles would enable personnel at the Transport Authority to cover more areas geographically and that the $33.5M expended on the purchases was money well spent.

The Minister used the opportunity to highlight some of the other initiatives at the TA designed to bolster the institutional strengthening of the Authority. One such is the new requirement for owners and operators of Public Passenger Vehicles (PPV) to register approved drivers and conductors with the Authority during the renewal of their licenses or the application for new road licenses. The requirement will become effective for all PPV licenses at the beginning of the new licensing period which starts on February 17, 2014 and ahead of the expiry of the current licensing period on March 31, 2014.

 Dr. Guy also had a word of advice for some errant persons within the transport fraternity. Said he, “ I would like to use this medium to offer a bit of what I would like to refer to as friendly advice to our drivers and conductors; wear your badges and have them visible at all times while you are operating motor vehicles. This is mandatory under the Road Traffic Act but we would prefer if you co-operate and let us all get along – that is the ultimate win/win situation.”

And for his part, chairman of the TA, Mr. Norton Hinds noted that the purchase of the vehicles was not done in a vacuum. He noted that even as the Authority is enhancing the physical resources, the very important matter of human resource capabilities is being addressed.

“In the upcoming months the Authority will be recruiting fifty new Route Inspectors to augment the Inspectorate division to one hundred and ninety-nine persons. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying the ‘best fit’ and excellence in service delivery during the recruitment and training processes,” Chairman Hinds explained.

In speaking to the impact of the acquisition of the vehicles on the Authority’s operations, the Chairman said that the preservation and maintenance of the fleet vehicles will factor heavily in ensuring that their impact and reach is meaningful. He noted that the Authority has embraced a holistic approach to maintenance through strict enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Management Policy which covers the routine and preventive maintenance, driver accountability and responsibility and driver safety and incentive programme.

The new vehicles are all fitted with tracking devices and it is anticipated that with the continued implementation of the vehicle management policy, the current stock of fifty fleet vehicles (including motor cycles) will be preserved.