Public warned about taking Papine/ Half Way Tree taxis
The Transport Authority is advising the public not to take taxis operating between Half Way Tree and Papine in St. Andrew, amidst concerns over fare hikes.
It says all taxis on the route are operating illegally.
The Authority says that is the reason it can do very little to address complaints that some taxi operators on that route have hiked their fares by between $20 and $70.
Among the commuters raising concern are students of the country's two largest tertiary educational institutions: The University of the West Indies, Mona and the University of Technology.
One UTECH student, Aubyn Allen told Irie FM News, he was charged $100 reflecting an increase of $20.
Meanwhile, Communications Manager at the Transport Authority, Petra-Kene Williams, is telling all commuters that both the fare increase and the taxi operators are illegal.
She adds that only public passenger buses owned by the JUTC and its sub-franchise holders are allowed to operate between Papine and Half-Way-Tree.
Ms. Williams says the authority will investigate the extent to which illegal taxis he been involved on the route.
She wants all commuters to avoid taking taxis operating between Half-Way-Tree and Papine.
Meanwhile, the Police Traffic Department has vowed to intensify its clamp-down on taxis operating between Half-Way-Tree and Papine in St. Andrew.
Police say taxis are not allowed to operate on the route which is owned by the JUTC and its sub-franchise holders.
Head of the Traffic Department, SSP Radcliff Lewis says the police have been trying to rid the route of taxis over the last four weeks.
He says up to 64 taxis were seized in the operations.
Despite the clamp-down, SSP Lewis says some persons continue to operate taxis illegally, between Papine and Half-Way-Tree.
He says those operators have resorted to increasing fares due to the increased pressure.
SSP Lewis is encouraging commuters to avoid using taxis running between Half-Way-Tree and Papine, whether or not they have red license plates.