Minister of Transport and Mining, Lester ‘Mike’ Henry says as of Wednesday, July 13, he has approved a limited reopening of 436 Route Taxi and 48 Rural Stage Carriage Routes across the Island.
Minister Henry says the routes are being made available by the Transport Authority, in order to satisfy the increasing demand for public transportation services in rural Jamaica. These routes include 18 newly created routes for Route Taxis and 2 Rural Stage Carriage (bus) Routes. Applications for these routes will remain open until October 13, 2016.
According to Minister Henry, the opening of the 484 routes follows an Island-wide review of the demand and supply for public transportation by the Transport Authority. This took into consideration recent housing developments in some areas and several requests from Route Taxi Associations and commuters for underserved routes. Some of the new routes include Charles Town to Kinloss, Trelawny, Lionel Town to Longville Park, Clarendon, and Port Antonio to Belleview, Portland. The complete list of open routes will be published in the newspapers, this weekend.
In the meantime, Minister Henry says the new motor car age requirement for new road licence applications/take-over-service and change of vehicle is twenty (20) years. He says motor cars over fifteen (15) years will, however, require a structural safety report, from the Island Traffic Authority (ITA). Minister Henry is urging persons operating public transportation services, without the requisite road licences, to avail themselves of the opportunity to legitimize their operations.