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Next Part 4: Emancipate Investors and Owners – To Achieve Vision 2030 For The Public Transportation Sector A New Business Model Is Needed Now…NTAG



Investors and Owners

The Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan identifies extensive and high-quality infrastructure as a pillar of international competitiveness that: enables the efficient functioning of markets for goods, services and labour; increases the productivity of economic processes; and improves decision-making by entrepreneurs and other economic actors.

The returns to investment in physical infrastructure tend to be high in countries at Jamaica’s income level, especially considering the relative underinvestment in physical infrastructure in recent decades. These higher growth rates eventually increase the size of the economy and the levels of funding available for other services such as health and education over the medium and long term. High-quality infrastructure contributes to social and environmental goals, by improving access to public services, reducing negative environmental impacts and supporting the sustainable use of natural resources.

NTAG’s position is that if the Transport Sector Plan for Vision 2030 Jamaica is going to ensure the development of world-class transport infrastructure and services that contribute to the competitiveness of our producers and improved quality of life for our people, then it must provide for and facilities an environment for entrepreneurs to invest with a reasonable expectation for a return on their investment.

These entrepreneurs according to NTAG covers Investors and Owners in the Public and Commercial Transportation Sector operating as or through Registered Limited Liability Companies as license holders incorporating all classes of road licenses.

NTAG’s position is that as a private sector group of individual investors and operators all the changes it has outlined so far will allow for among other things the following:

1. More Investment: To achieve the 2030 goal and vision significantly more investment will have to be made to build out a modern and efficient fleet of vehicles, supported by a team of well-trained and compensated drivers and conductors.

Allowing investors to structure their business in a way that would facilitate accessing funding via the stock market will be a key driver for investment and funding to facilitate and accelerate growth.

2. ESOP: Allowing all stakeholders in the sector an opportunity to secure a stake in the profitable growth of the sector will allow for greater alignment of interest. NTAG wants to see drivers and conductors offered opportunies to invest by way of equity participation in the companies they are working and contributing to.

3. Transportation Centers: Importantly the Public and Private Transportation Sector will work with the Government in a Public Private Partnership to build out and operate suitable located Transportation Centers. There is clear mutual benefit in this.

“A major part of the problem is that the Transport Authority is issuing licenses and not regulating with any vision. There are some 4000 to 5000 public passenger vehicles terminating in Montego bay daily, but the terminal centre does not even have the capacity for 700 units. The failure of the authorities to establish adequate facilities and control the influx of unregulated or robot taxis in the system have resulted in parking violations and a continuous cat and mouse game with the Police and Transport Authority officers. This fuels allegations of corruption against members of both state entities, who are seen as enablers of the chaos on the roadway. The facilities provided are woefully inadequate based on the number of vehicles operating in the parish and the enforcement is weak. The routes currently terminate anywhere in the city and unless we have a proper transportation system it will never be solved.” Deon Chance, President St. James Taxi Association.

According to the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan additional transport centres are planned for other areas of the island, although these are not directly under the Ministry’s portfolio. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is spearheading plans for a Transport centre in Downtown Kingston. Significantly, there are also proposals by Local Government Authorities to construct municipal transportation centres in areas such as Spaldings, Clarendon and Darliston, Westmoreland.

4. Professionalization of the sector: Making public transportation more acceptable as a viable career choice and helping younger people make a success of the public transport trade is key to NTAG’s vison for 2030. Supporting the development of new ideas, and celebrating achievements by Transporters is also crucial to this development.

“I see a public transportation system where the players in the industry will understand that this is not just a means to ‘eat a food’. It is a business that we are delivering and we must be able to provide the highest standard of public transportation.”
Willard Hylton Managing Director Transport Authority

5. Routes: NTAG’s view is that while routes will continue to be determined by the Transport Authority based on national population requirements, entrepreneurs and investors will be able to apply for other routes they would like to operate on. Routes should not be exclusive, allowing more than one company to operate on the route. This allows for healthy competition and importantly provides the public with real choice in transportation services islandwide.

7. Fare Structure: To ensure an open free market with fares, NTAG believes operators should offer clearly differentiated services so as not to charge the same fare on the same route. Fares must be noticeable and distinctly different.

Different route prices will be encouraged by NTAG, encouraging investors to establish and operate differentiated services in support of price differences. This will allow the consumer to have choices and for operators to compete on service and customer satisfaction.

Importantly NTAG sees the system of differenced route prices as a self-check mechanism that will encourage competition and discourage price fixing and collusion in price setting.

8. Application for routes:

Taxi Associations: There is a widespread view within the sector that the vast majority of the current taxi associations are not delivering the expected value and type of services intended.

The Transport Authority engages and uses the over 30 route taxi associations islandwide to help manage the annual renewal and application for new operating road licences. The Associations as member organsions are to also provide other member services and benefits, which drivers and conductors claims many do not do.

As such NTAG is proposing that the current association system be replaced to one using technology and registered limited liability companies, with board-based ownerships in the form of shareholdings from its members.

Transport Authority will therefore monitor and regulate the sector through Registered Limited Liability Companies and would allow for applications to be submitted and processed online digitally.

Registered Limited Liability Companies will be able to apply to the Transport Authority for operators licenses for Passenger Services only or Passenger and Courier Services, to be used and deployed as its business model and plan dictates.

Individual Owners, Operators and investors not operating as a registered company will continue to apply to the Transport Authority for individual operator’s license for Passenger Services only or Passenger and Courier Services. This can either be submitted and processed online digitally on an individual basis or through a registered limited liability company.

These individual Owners, Operators, and investors with a valid license in hand can now choose to work with a registered limited liability company that best suits their requirements. Terms and conditions to be agreed between the parties.

Next Part 5: Drivers And Conductors – Inability To Attract And Retain Suitable and Qualified Drivers And Conductors.


Part 3: The Key Stakeholders Required To Make This Plan Work, The Jamaican People- To Achieve Vision 2030 For The Public Transportation Sector A New Business Model Is Needed Now…NTAG

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Businessuite News24

We Want To Transform Public Transport In Jamaica…Andrew Holness



Public Transportation

Madam Speaker, I could not speak about roads without emphasizing that an efficient and orderly public transportation sector is not only critical for the development of any well-run society but is also essential for the daily lives of Jamaican citizens. Our vision is to have a professional transportation sector that is operated with pride, where the investors and operators are the strongest advocate for order and high quality service from their industry. I know there are a significant number of transport operators who view public passenger transport as a formal business. However, too many operators see it as a hustle. We want to assist our transport operators to create a real industry out of public transportation. I have heard the voices of our public transportation operators and I am convinced that there is a critical mass that share this vision to develop a first-world public transportation sector.

“Our vision is to have a professional transportation sector that is operated with pride, where the investors and operators are the strongest advocate for order and high quality service from their industry.”

Madam Speaker, the transport sector is multi-faceted and made up of a number of stakeholders, including drivers, owners/investors, and owners who are also drivers. Their concerns are varied and include the rising expenses that they are faced with, the need to access affordable financing to retool, and issues relating to appropriate places to stop, disembark and take on passengers.

Some have expressed to me that they have no special facility for health insurance or pensions.

While the transport sector is largely a private operation, there is a significant public service they provide and this government is willing to work with our transport operators in meaningful ways to address their issues and improve their conditions. In the coming weeks, I will be arranging consultations with the various taxi groups to further explore their concerns.

Madam Speaker, to support the public transportation sector, the Government will be implementing the following:

1. Cutting of renewal fees for Route Taxi, Hackney Carriage, Rural Stage Carriage, and Contract Carriers of public passenger vehicles by 30% for a period of one year. This incentive is given to allow operators to regularize themselves and avoid tickets. During this period the Ministry of Transport and Mining has been directed to establish an updated database of all operators. While over 9,000 operators were able to benefit from the CARE programme to the tune of approximately $300 million, too many operators were not able to access the programme for a variety of reasons including lack of registration or incomplete registration with the relevant authority at the relevant date.

2. We must improve the quality of service, behaviour and awareness of our drivers. We will be introducing a short course for all Public Passenger Vehicle drivers to be administered by the Island Traffic Authority in collaboration with the Heart Trust NSTA. Drivers will be invited to register for the course focused on the new RTA, defensive and courteous driving techniques, maintenance and sanitation procedures for vehicles, assistance with establishing bank accounts and digital wallets, and the use of digital payment technologies. All drivers who register and complete the course will be formally certified and receive a $25,000 grant from the Government. Specifically for motorcycle riders, we will be making 10,000 helmets available free of cost for who go through a short course.

3. Last year the government announced a special loan window for transport operators to refleet or upgrade their vehicles. We are currently recrafting the existing DBJ loan facility to facilitate access on preferential terms for persons who would like to change their current vehicle or motorcycle to an electric vehicle or motorcycle. Our preliminary analysis shows that electric vehicles could be very efficient for certain types of taxi operations.

4. The NWA has been directed to collaborate with the Ministry of Transport to assess the adequacy of parking, loading bays and approved stops in all urban areas and townships and along all approved routes. Where these facilities overlap with roads on the SPARK programme they will be addressed as the roads are improved.

The NWA will however prepare a specific budget for high use and critical loading areas and parking area to be funded in the next budget.

Madam Speaker, we want to transform public transport in Jamaica, the above measures along with the 100 electric buses announced last week is a significant seed in that transformation.

Nuturing S.E.E.D.S for Peace, Opportunity and Prosperity. PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP Extracted from 2023 Budget Presentation

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Aspects of New Road Traffic Act That Will Require Phased Implementation Outlined



Aspects of the new Road Traffic Act that require phased implementation are to be addressed as the country begins to operate under the new legislative regime, says Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Audley Shaw.

Delivering a Statement in the House of Representatives on January 31, Mr. Shaw noted that the transition to the new Act will require a period of conversion, with changes to the documents used and produced, and the required adjustments in road infrastructure.

Some of the transition matters include the mapping of existing driver’s licences to the new classes.

The Minister said that although the requirements to obtain a ‘Class C’ (commercial) licence will be different from the current requirements for a general licence, existing licences will be treated as though a motorcycle licence is ‘Class A’, private is ‘Class B’, and general is ‘Class C’.

“A person’s existing licence will continue to be valid to drive the types of vehicles recorded on the back of the licence, and a licence renewed during the transition period may not reflect any significant change in what is printed on the licence,” Mr. Shaw said.

Another transition matter is the allowance for current learner drivers to test under the old regime.

Mr. Shaw said new holders of provisional licences will not be able to apply for a driver’s licence for a period of six months.

“There will be an exemption to the six-month requirement before being tested for a driver’s licence for those who got provisional licences under the Road Traffic Act 1938 after August 1, 2022,” he stated.

Also, traffic signs that have been erected over the years with designs that vary from those now incorporated in the Road Traffic Regulations, will continue to be valid and to have the effect as per the earlier regulations and be enforceable accordingly.

In addition, vehicles will continue to be classified in similar manner to the earlier legislation, except for a broadening of the definition of a motorcycle.

“Where the classification of a vehicle is impacted by this change, the change will take place at the next fitness certification. Efforts will be made to contact owners of such vehicles, so that they can be made aware and understand any implications,” Mr. Shaw said.

Time will also be given for driving instructors to meet certification requirements.

Mr. Shaw explained that driving instructors and driving schools will have to be certified and licensed by the Island Traffic Authority.

“The effective date of this requirement is proposed to be January 1, 2024, which will allow for a reasonable time to allow the instructors to undergo an approved training programme,” he stated.

In addition, a national vehicle register is to be developed that will include all vehicles, whether operated on public roads or not.

However, vehicles used off-road will not need to be registered unless the owner wishes to get a title.

“It will take time to gather information on these vehicles to fully populate the register, but information will now be put in the register upon importation,” Mr. Shaw said.

Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the Island Traffic Authority (ITA), established under the Act, is a statutory body that is not yet operational as an organisation.

As a result, the functions to be carried out are delegated to the bodies that currently have responsibility, such as the National Works Agency, Tax Administration Jamaica, and the Ministry, and when the entity is set up, it will take over the requisite functions.

Mr. Shaw also informed that it would take approximately six months before the changed process for applying, issuing, and keeping records of demonstration plates can take full effect, as dealers will need time to adjust their processes so that the new registers and reporting systems can be populated and brought up to date.

On another matter, Mr. Shaw said speed limit zones have been revised and new zones identified, but it will take some time to get the new signs in place to demarcate the zones, so that the changes are clearly communicated to motorists and enforcement officers.

“It is anticipated that the new signs will all be in place by the beginning of next year,” he stated.

Persons with outstanding tickets will also be denied services, such as renewal of their driver’s licence.

Implementation of this measure will not come into effect immediately but should become effective by April 1, 2023.

Regarding the use of application forms, where the differences between the existing forms and the new forms are not significant, the TAJ and ITA will continue to use the existing physical stock until these are depleted, as the old forms are valid for use under the new legislation, in keeping with the Interpretation Act.

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Logistics & Transportation

Senator Hill Wants Local Consortium to Undertake US$200M Caymanas SEZ Development



Jamaican investors are invited to form a consortium to undertake the development of the proposed Caymanas Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in St. Catherine.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, made the call, while addressing a Rebranding and Quality Recognition ceremony held at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston recently.

He said that the Zone will cost approximately $200 million to be developed.

“Yes, we’re looking to foreigners [for investment] but I want to see a Jamaican consortium or business firm put that money together [and] become the master developer,” he said.

Minister Hill informed that the Zone is located on 650 acres of land owned by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and those persons who invest in the area will benefit from a renewable 50-year lease.

Investors will also enjoy tax-free benefits for an extended period.

Minister Hill said Jamaica has a wide spectrum of manufacturers, service creators, exporters, importers, and more, who may be able to undertake the development, “so I beg you, please find a consortium and take it on”.

The Zone will be managed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) and once completed, will provide employment opportunities for Jamaicans.

SEZs are created to facilitate rapid economic growth in a country by leveraging tax incentives as a way of attracting foreign investments and technological advancements.

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Logistics & Transportation

New Transportation App DoGetGo Launched



Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Audley Shaw (second right), observes as founder of technology company, Rydeum Caribbean, Mark Hannah (second left) uses the new mobile app, DoGetGo on his phone, following the launch of the app, at the Half Moon Resort in Rose Hall, St. James on September 22. Sharing in the moment (from left) are, President of the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) Montego Bay Chapter, Simon Lawrence, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rydeum Caribbean, Mark Vanterpool.

Jamaicans and visitors to the island are now able to secure ground transportation services in real time using the ride-hailing mobile application (app) DoGetGo.

The service is being provided through a partnership between technology company Rydeum Caribbean and the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) Montego Bay Chapter.

The DoGetGo app, which is available on android and IOS platforms was officially launched on September 22, at the Half Moon Resort in Rose Hall, St. James.

In his remarks, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Audley Shaw said that the app marks another step towards a more technologically inclusive and efficient transportation sector in Jamaica.

Minister Shaw lauded Rydeum Caribbean for the innovation, touting it as a paradigm shift towards sustainable transport.

“I support the introduction of innovative technologies and new business ventures to support the transportation sector. This super app being launched … has been developed in response to moving transport in a smarter way. It promises to enable Jamaicans to work together in a single ecosystem and inspire change,” he stated.

He further noted that the app has come at a time when commuters demand timeliness, flexibility, and convenience in the sector.

“The hope is that with this super app, there will be greater freedom and power to transform the transportation industry while simultaneously empowering all Jamaican businesses to access technology for the delivery of their products and services at the same level experienced globally,” Mr. Shaw said.

In an interview with JIS News Rydeum Caribbean’s founder, Mark Hannah, said DoRide, the first of nine experiences to go live on the newly launched DoGetGo app works similarly to Uber and Lyft, allowing users to hail ride remotely from any location using a smart phone.

He said the company intends to expand the app to offer eight additional services such as food and grocery delivery, sending and receiving of monetary payments, booking tours, and making medical appointments.

“It’s [the app] ran by JUTA drivers. Now eventually we’ll have more people in JUTA on it but right now … we’re starting out with JUTA drivers. So, what will happen is people will be able to actually get on their phone and it don’t matter where they are, they will be able to book a ride,” Mr. Hannah explained.

“They’ll be able to get the rate, get the fee, see the drivers’ ratings, and they’ll be able to travel anywhere in the country. This is the first step for launching to DoGetGo,” he continued.

President of JUTA Montego Bay, Simon Lawrence, said the new digital space will bring ease to its consumers in Western Jamaica.

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Logistics & Transportation

Part 6: The Full Support of Minister of Transport & The Transport Authority – To Achieve Vision 2030 For The Public Transportation Sector A New Business Model Is Needed Now…NTAG



Part 6: The Ministry of Transport & The Transport Authority

NTAG notes that the Transport Authority has already begun to make key and fundamental changes that are in line with NTAGs outlined position. This was clearly outlined by the Managing Director of the Transport Authority, Willard Hylton.

We Are Embracing A New Way Of Issuing Licences, Moving Towards A Market-Driven Situation.
“We are embracing a new way of issuing licences, which is currently done on an open-and-closed basis. We will be moving towards a market-driven situation. Under the new arrangement, it will not matter how many persons apply. If there are too many operators on one route, the market will fix that. If someone applies for a route, they will have 30 days to determine if it is working. If not, they can make the change. You have route taxi associations through which our licensees make their applications. We want to strengthen the ability of those route taxi associations to prepare the drivers and operators for Vision 2030. The Authority is looking at how we can start building out something that represents world-class standards, so these changes are necessary. The improvements being made to the transport sector entails more than just having nice-looking buses but also ensuring proper organisation of all modes of public transportation. Whatever we are doing, it should be comparable to what happens in developed countries, so that’s what we are focusing on right now” Managing Director of the Transport Authority, Willard Hylton

NTAG fully supports these initiatives and is dedicated to working with the Ministry of Transport and the Transport Authority to achieve Vision 2030.

“Time and destiny have placed US the stakeholders as leaders at a very important and transformative intersection of the public transportation sector. We now have an opportunity to finally transform the public transportation sector, using technology and our collective efforts. With our collective and unified leadership and support we can do what previous public and private sector leaders in the past have not been able to do…it’s our time to give our Jamaican people what they truly deserve and for US to leave a lasting legacy.” NTAG

I Know WE Can Get It Done!

We Need All Public And Private Sector Stakeholders And Policy Makers Onboard In The Same Room Around The Same Table To Get It Done
The Clock Is Ticking.

Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan (Extracts)

In 2006, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) mandated the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) to lead the preparation of a comprehensive long-term National Development Plan (NDP) which would place Jamaica in a position to achieve developed country status by 2030. Development of the Plan began in January 2007 and thirty-one Task Forces (TFs) including the Transport Task Force were established thereafter. The TFs represent sectors and areas critical to the achievement of the national goals and have been charged with responsibility for developing the relevant long-term sector plans.

The Transport Task Force through three sub-committees, viz., land, air and maritime transport, commenced the plan preparation exercise in April 2007, leading to the completion and submission of a 1st draft report for the long-term development of the transport sector in Jamaica. Following review and stakeholder consultation, and preparation of an action plan for the sector, the Transport Sector Plan for Vision 2030 Jamaica was completed in 2009.

This Sector Plan for Transport is one of the strategic priority areas of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan. It is one of thirty-one sector plans that form the foundation for Vision 2030 Jamaica – a 21-year plan based on a fundamental vision to make ‘Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business,’ and on guiding principles which put the Jamaican people at the centre of the nation’s transformation.

Extensive and high-quality infrastructure is considered a pillar of international competitiveness that: enables the efficient functioning of markets for goods, services and labour; increases the productivity of economic processes; and improves decision-making by entrepreneurs and other economic actors. The Transport Sector Plan for Vision 2030 Jamaica will ensure the development of world-class transport infrastructure and services that contribute to the competitiveness of our producers and improved quality of life for our people.

The preparation of the Plan was supported by a quantitative systems dynamics computer model – Threshold 21 Jamaica (T21 Jamaica) – which supports comprehensive, integrated planning that enables the consideration of a broad range of interconnected economic, social and environmental factors. The T21 Jamaica model is used to project future consequences of different strategies across a wide range of indicators, and enables planners to trace causes of changes in any variable or indicator back to the relevant assumptions and policy choices.

Road Transportation

Road transportation, being the larger component of land transportation has been affected by the variations in transportation activities in recent years. Road transport includes the road infrastructure, private motor vehicle movement, and the public transport system including buses and licensed public passenger system. Jamaica has one of the densest road networks in the world, with a total of 15,394 kilometres of road. The length of the road network in Jamaica has incurred some changes due to developments such as the realignment of main roads. There was also the addition of thirty-three kilometres (33km) to the road network due to the construction of Highway 2000 (H2K). Traffic volume has been steadily increasing over recent years. This has led to congestion problems in major towns and capitals across the island. Traffic management initiatives have been implemented in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR) and proposals have been made to address congestion issues in other parishes.

The Half Way Tree Transportation Centre was opened in January 2008. The Centre is a major transport infrastructure project designed as a modern facility with two levels – one level for arriving buses and the other for departing buses. Ultimately it will provide a single-terminus area for all buses traversing the Half-Way-Tree area. Adequate facilities are in place for the commuting public, including a commercial area with a number of shops and kiosks and offices for the JUTC and TA.

Additional Transport Centres are planned for other areas of the island, although these are not directly under the Ministry’s portfolio. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is spearheading plans for a Transport centre in Downtown Kingston. Significantly, there are also proposals by Local Government Authorities to construct municipal transportation centres in areas such as Spaldings, Clarendon and Darliston, Westmoreland.

Public Transport
Under the rationalization of the public passenger transport system in the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMTR), the Metropolitan Management Transport Holdings Ltd. (MMTH) was established in 1995 with responsibility for purchasing buses and building depots and terminal facilities, while the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) was established in 1998 to operate the public passenger transportation system that had previously been provided by private operators. In 2008 there were a total of 1,648 buses licensed to operate in or from the KMTR with a total seating capacity of 39,457. In addition, the Montego Bay Metro provides service on three routes with eight buses.

There was a total of 19,075 taxis licensed by the Transport Authority to provide public passenger service islandwide. The importance of the public transport system to road transport in Jamaica is highlighted by the finding of a recent survey that nearly 75% of households do not own a motor vehicle.

Road Master Plan
The government has undertaken the preparation of a Road Master Plan with funding support from the European Union to guide the development and maintenance of the island’s road network over the next ten (10) years. The main provisions of the Road Master Plan include: identification of priority roads in need of periodic maintenance; estimation of preliminary maintenance and construction costs; and recommendations for funding mechanisms. While the Road Master Plan has not yet been formally adopted by the Jamaican government, the Transport Plan for Vision 2030 Jamaica seeks to ensure continuity in long-term planning for land transport in Jamaica by building on the provisions of the Road Master Plan.

“On May 30, 2018, when Minister Montague rose from his seat in Gordon House, it was in a bid to provide alternate strategies for a beleaguered public transportation system with insufficient units to provide reliable transportation for Jamaicans, not only in the Corporate Area, but also in the rural communities, or the nook and cranny of the island. This inadequacy of public transportation had been identified by the auditor general as a contributor to the growth of illegal public transportation in Jamaica. In fact, in a performance audit conducted by the auditor general in October 2017, it was noted that “an inadequate supply of PPVs may have fostered the prevalence of illegal operators”.

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