The Transport Authority opened a new satellite office in St. Margaret’s Bay, Portland on May 30, 2014.
The Office which joins the other which was opened in Swansea, Clarendon is expected to provide core Transport Authority services in respect of licensing and operations save and except for the printing of road licenses. These Offices are being established to improve service delivery to users and operators of the public transportations system in rural areas.
In delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony, Transport Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies said that the Transport Authority is at the vanguard for the desperately needed rehabilitation and transformation of the public land transport sector. Continuing, he noted that as the vanguard, the Authority must at all times seek to demonstrate innovation and co-operation in charting a course towards the development of a sustainable system - one which provides for commuters, efficient, comfortable and affordable movement. It is in that context the Minister said he was happy to participate in the opening ceremony.
The Minister used the opportunity to highlight the perceived ‘scourge of corruption’ that attends the activities of some of the Agencies falling under the ambit of the Ministry, including the Transport Authority. Says he:
“I receive countless complaints from stakeholders in the sector alleging that public officials utilize their positions to extract corrupt payments from private operators.” “ In the same way that there is a policy of zero tolerance toward indiscipline, the same applies to corruption, regardless of who are the perpetrators,” the Minister said.
Speaking to the matter of expanding the TA’s reach, Minister Davies said, “As the Authority seeks to spearhead needed changes, there will be a need to widen its coverage of monitoring and regulating public passenger vehicle across the island. The opening of this satellite office is an example of the Authority’s thrust to improve accessibility to its services, improve service delivery and increase productivity and efficiency of its operations.” He said that three such other facilities were scheduled for completion this year in the parishes of Clarendon, Trelawny and Portland.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony was Minister without portfolio (Housing), Hon. Dr. Morais Guy who said that the Government is in ‘transformation mode …and I seeking to improve servicers in our major towns and cities …and also serious about rural development.” To this end, he said, “The work of the Transport Authority in the parish, as is evidenced by the erection of this multimillion dollar facility is no coincidence. We are taking a wholesome approach to how we treat with national development.”
Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell congratulated the TA for ‘this bold initiative of establishing satellite offices in areas all over the island. “Obviously, you have got the memo that Kingston is not Jamaica,” she said.”
Other speakers on the programme were, ACP Ealan Powell, Mr. Donald Foster, General Manager of the TA and Mr. Daryl Vaz, MP for the area.