Commercial operators are eyeing a large piece of the pie as they prepare to meet with the new transport minister, according to chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT), Roy Raphael.
That pie, contained in the Government’s Transport Augmentation Programme (TAP) is gaining greater interest from the private sector owners, after a sluggish start in which few of them were willing to run on new routes.
This later prompted the Ministry of Transport to reach out to coach operators to join the public transit mix.
Now Raphael has said he is eagerly looking forward to meeting with the new Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill in an effort to get more private operators involved.
He said: “We are seeing more people showing interest in the TAP programme. It has shown that the programme could be the way to go into the future. It is something that we believe that when we meet with the new minister we will want to revisit.”
Raphael credited former transport minister, Dr William Duguid, now the Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance with making improvements in a number of areas over the past two years.
He highlighted the importation of over 30 electric buses and the TAP as areas of innovation.
Raphael said: “We believe Mr Duguid will do well in his new ministry. The minister has done good in the Ministry of Transport and we want to applaud him for giving us the opportunity to meet with him quickly to resolve any issues that the association had.
“The association is looking forward to working with the new Minister of Transport, Mr Ian Gooding Edghill. We were able to resolve a lot of the issues that we had but there are still outstanding issues on which we will brief the new minister.”
The AOPT leader is also hoping to get a number of issues on the meeting’s agenda, including industry insurance, transitioning of PSV vehicles from diesel to electric power and access to duty-free concessions. [email protected]