Transportation groups divided over calls for a protest after no word on amnesty

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There appears to be a rift growing among operators in the transport sector over how to deal with the government’s failure, thus far, to grant a traffic ticket amnesty, which would give taxi and bus drivers time to pay off the outstanding ticket.

The government had announced the implementation of a system on December 1 that would see drivers who acquire multiple traffic tickets issued with a warrant for court.

Transport operators are seeking to get a payment plan in place so that drivers are not affected by the new system.

The rift seems to be appearing after at least one organization representing transport operators called for a withdrawal of service on Thursday, December 1, to force the government to grant an amnesty.

On November 14 transport operators in different parishes withdrew their services for two days, nearly crippling the country. Several schools and businesses were significantly impacted by the withdrawal.

The Private Sector said then that 50 percent of production was lost.

Two weeks after receiving a proposal from private transport operators for a traffic ticket amnesty, the Government is still discussing the matter.

A voice note purporting to be from One Voice Association of Transport Investors and Operators, which represents some operators in the transport sector, noted that they have not heard from the minister of transport and called on members to strike.

Director of Communication for One Voice, Oscar Finnikin, confirmed with talkupditingsdem News that the voice note is from his organization and is, in fact, calling for the withdrawal of services and that support is being sought from other organizations.

In the voice note, he told members that the protest would continue until Friday, and, if still no word from the Government, would continue again on Monday.

However, there is no support from groups such as the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) and the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS).

Both organizations have released their audio statements denouncing and distancing themselves from the call to protest.

“TODDS has no interest in, will not support, and will not condone any strike action or withdrawal of service. We are in the process with the government seeking a payment plan, and we are waiting on that. 

So TODDS members will not support the strike action tomorrow (December 1),” TODSS President Egerton Newman told talkupditingsdem News on Wednesday night.

While not supporting a withdrawal of services, the President of JATOO Everton Styles said that his organization supports drivers with outstanding tickets staying home tomorrow (December 1) when the new system is scheduled to be implemented.

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