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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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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

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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Logistics & Transportation

Part 5: Inability To Attract And Retain Suitable and Qualified Drivers And Conductors – To Achieve Vision 2030 For The Public Transportation Sector A New Business Model Is Needed Now…NTAG



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

In his budget presentation on Tuesday, march 8, 2022 Nigel Clarke Minister of Finance and the Public Service spoke of the “Inability To Attract And Retain Talent In The Public Sector. It is generally agreed that public sector compensation is not competitive. Public sector compensation, as currently constructed, hinders the Government’s ability to attract and retain talent in the public sector. Those who serve in the public sector do so mainly out of service to country and you will hear the comments from time to time that they are subsidizing government operations. In this regard, trade unions have been advocating for decades for better wages and conditions for public sector workers.”

The Public Transportation sector is also facing a similar dilemma, that of the Inability To Attract And Retain Suitable and Qualified Drivers And Conductors.

“I am focusing on eliminating indiscipline in the transport sector and restoring the railway system. The public transportation system is critical for productivity, and when workers utilise the vehicles they should enter work feeling motivated, and operators in the sector must accept the responsibility that is required from them. We are going to lift our standards in this country, treating people with respect, treating them like human beings, and when they end up at work they feel happy and end up being more productive. Commuters must be able to travel in comfort, and that work will be done to reposition the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), as the public transport system is central for students and workers.”
Hon. Audley Shaw Minister of Transport and Mining

As far as NTAG is concerned, and the vast majority of investors in the sector agree, the quality of the available pool of talent from which the sector sources human resources for these roles is grossly inadequate and in need of immediate overhauling. Addressing longstanding issues of job security, working conditions, equity, uneven application of increases, and inadequate salaries is an immediate and urgent priority of NTAG.

One thing Drivers and Conductors in the Public Transportation Sector all have in common is that they all believe that they are not adequately or fairly compensated.
This is a problem.

A vast majority of the public will tell you that they are dissatisfied with the level of public transportation service they receive.
This is also a problem.

Both these problems are related and as a sector we have to address BOTH problems and that is what NTAG proposes to do as part of its vision 2030 plan.

Transport operators who ply sections of St Andrew West Rural withdrew their services on Monday, leaving students and commuters stranded in Half-Way Tree, Stony Hill and other areas. Poor road conditions, seized buses and a demand for fare increase have been cited among the reasons for the strike action.”

Currently drivers and conductors are considered to be independent contractors, as they can choose when, where and how often they work. However, in exchange, they have no job security, vacation pay or other benefits such as pension and health insurance for themselves and family members.
This must change!

NTAG proposes as part of its vision 2030 plan that all registered companies operating in the public transportation sector, as a part of their key strategy execution, must ensure that all independent contractors and operators working in their company have the option and opportunity for job security, vacation pay and other benefits such as pension and health insurance for themselves and family members. This includes payroll payments on a weekly or every two-week basis to allow for accumulated income allowing for better allocation of income for saving, investments, statutory payments and importantly a pay slip. A pay slip provides proof of consistent income allowing for loan applications and other financial requirements.

NTAG will play a major role in ensuring that standards of entry are maintained at a suitable level, and that appropriate training opportunies are always available.

A key feature of this is a project NTAG is working on to develop a cloud based National Transporter Database of Driver and Conductors.

Problem Definition: There is said to be over 200,000 Available Independent Drivers of Public Passenger And Commercial Vehicles who do not own their own vehicle, and will drive for Stakeholders – Investor, Owner And Operator.

However, there is no National Central Addressable And Available Database that can be accessed by these and other stakeholders to view suitable candidates for employment and engagement. In addition, there is no way to reliably determine the work history, experience and expertise of these drivers, and so engagement is often a hit and miss situation. The vast majority of these drivers are transient in that they are not stable in their employment and are known to frequently move around, driving for different investors, owners and operators.

Proposed Solution: The creation of a NTAG National Central Addressable And Available Database that can be accessed by these stakeholders to view suitable candidates for employment and engagement.

A Bulletin Board will also be incorporated allowing Investor, Owner And Operator to post available positions and for Available Independent Drivers to view and apply.


National Transporters Alliance Group: Owners and operators of the proposed National Central Addressable And Available Database and responsible for vetting and uploading Available Independent Drivers into the system.

Available Independent Drivers and Conductors: who will apply and have their relevant information uploaded to the database, and pay an annual fee to maintain listing. They will also be able to access and view ONLY their records and file in the database, ratings, comments and recommendations from Investor, Owner And Operator. Ratings and comments from other parties such as passengers and customers should also be available.

Investor, Owner And Operator: These individuals or companies own and operate a single vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, and are seeking to engage Available Independent Drivers. They will apply and have their relevant information uploaded to the database, and pay an annual fee to maintain their listing, and will be able to access and view ONLY their records and file in the database, ratings, comments and recommendations from Available Independent Driver and Conductors. They will NOT have access to another Investor, Owner And Operator information in the database.

They will be able to access and view all Available Independent Driver and Conductors with a limited view of the records and files in the database, ratings, comments and recommendations. Ratings and comments from other parties such as passengers and customers should also be available.

Available Independent Drivers should be able to view limited information on these stakeholders to determine for themselves the suitability of these individuals as employers.

Information and Data Capture: This can begin during the NTAG membership onboarding process as the same information will be required.

Next Part 6: The Ministry of Transport & The Transport Authority

Next Part 4: The Key Stakeholders Required To Make This Plan Work – Investors and Owners – To Achieve Vision 2030 For The Public Transportation Sector A New Business Model Is Needed Now…NTAG


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