Transport operators strike

Priscilla Gyamfi Xvrifwobk3u Unsplash

Bus and taxi operators gathered in Half-Way-Tree and downtown Kingston throughout the week calling for a traffic ticket amnesty. The protest actions affected commuters’ ability to move around. According to news reports, the protesting transport operators converged at the Lawrence Tavern and Stony Hill routes in St Andrew to Half-Way-Tree and downtown Kingston. “Some of the police just issuing out the [traffic] tickets as if a pick we pick up the money off the ground fi pay them”, said one transport operator who was among the bus and taxi operators who withdrew their services in sections of the corporate area on Monday 12 September.

Also, hundreds of commuters in Linstead, St Catherine, were left stranded on Tuesday afternoon after taxi operators withdrew their services. “Taximan cannot use Market Street to traverse into Linstead and that is where our road licence… grant us to go. So, we don’t understand what [are] the changes. If they divert us to another location, that will be totally against our road licence; that would be contrary”, the taxi operator complained. He added that this could cost operators a $7,500 traffic ticket or force them to pay $20,000 if their vehicle is taken away by a wrecker”.

He urged the authorities to “go back to the drawing board, meet with us [and] see how best we can settle this situation”.

 One of the commuters who was left stranded by the taxi strike said she did not know how she would get home, but she also disagreed with the change because, “they (taxis) have to detour now, that’s why it takes so long”. She also expressed concern about what would happen to students if taxi operators continued their strike when school reopens on Monday.

 But Sydney Rose, councilor for the Treadways Division, said he was surprised by the protest action by the taxi operators in Linstead. Rose, in a news report, said the traffic changes were proposed by the taxi associations as part of a pilot project, during a recent meeting involving the municipal corporation, Transport Authority and the police.

 Still, the St Catherine police are insisting that the crackdown will continue, as it seeks to restore order in the town of Linstead. Inspector Damion Butler, who is in charge of operations at the Linstead Police Station, mentioned that the town has been overrun with taxi operators so the new initiative is to “see how best we can bring back some form of semblance in regard to traffic flow in the township”. He said the changes involve implementing new routes and plans to convert some roads for one-way traffic.  According to Inspector Butler, while “most of the taxi operators are complying”, it might take some time for others to get used to the changes.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *