Independent Senator Lindell Nurse has suggested the return, after 63 years, of the public transit system to fully private hands.
The Transport Board was at the top of a raft of issues facing transport the lawmaker sought to address as the Senate debated an amendment to the Road Traffic Act to repeal road tax.
“We know a large portion of the public transport system is run by private people, so why can’t we have a properly regulated transport system in which we allocate the routes to certain companies as it was many years ago? We should look at that again and see how that can best fit into the overall stated objective of being as efficient as possible, and there is no reason why Government should be running a transport system anyway. In other countries, private companies run the transport services well; there is no reason it cannot be done here,” said Senator Nurse.
He also called for proper regulation of roadside vendors, particularly the ones whom he said made a mess with garbage along the ABC Highway and other roadsides.
“I would like to see some policy for the orderly organization of vending along the highway. I do believe a previous administration actually had proposed there be certain sections of the highway specifically allocated for that purpose. So as part of enhancing the environment and keeping the highway in a pristine condition, Government can relook that whole policy and develop one for all roadside vending.”
Senator Nurse welcomed the idea of installing roadside cameras along to capture offenders, suggesting that it was a cost-effective way to monitor traffic. “Those of us who travel know if you break a red light in the UK, and the camera captures you, you get a ticket in the mail. The technology is there and since we don’t have the resources to police all the streets in the country, we can use these methods to collect revenue and increase security, and manage the transportation sector better.”
On another matter, while acknowledging that the tax was aimed at repairing roads, Senator Nurse asked about the ongoing road issues in White Hill, St. Andrew, questioning whether it would be cheaper to fix the road or simply relocate the people living in the area. “The problem in White Hill is a geological one rather than an engineering issue, and if Government is serious about operating more efficiently it must decide if the money they will sink into that project would not be better spent re-siting the people living there.”