Recommendation made to remove telecommunication restrictions for local rideshare app operators who comply with Jamaica’s laws

A recommendation has been made for the removal of telecommunication restrictions for local rideshare app operators who are compliant with Jamaica’s laws.

In addition, it’s being recommended that international ride hailing operators submit to existing requirements for the provision of public passenger services.

So far, Uber is the only international app service provider that has been in discussion with the Transport Authority.

The matter comes in the wake of concern by the police, about how some rideshare apps operate and their links to criminal activity.

In response, Transport Minister Daryl Vaz recommended an immediate one year ban and also asked telecom providers, FLOW and Digicel to restrict access to the rideshare platforms.

Yesterday, several rideshare operators made contact with the Transport Authority, and the parties met to discuss the issues.

Today, a technical working group with representatives from the Ministry, the Authority and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, met to review the operators’ concerns and to devise a strategy to ensure the safety of passengers and the continuation of operations for those entities willing to comply with the local regime.

These recommendations include: removing any restriction in relation to local ride-hailing operators that only engage drivers and use vehicles which are compliant with the requirements of the Transport Authority for operating a public passenger service. 

In this respect, the Transport Authority will submit to the minister its recommendation regarding those ride-hailing entities that are compliant.

Another is for increased collaboration between the Transport Authority and the JCF to assist in the determination of those ride-hailing entities that meet the security standards for the provision of such services.

The other is requiring international ride hailing operators to submit to existing requirements for the provision of public passenger services. 

Among the requirements is  for these operators to establish a local presence in Jamaica and to engage the Transport Authority to facilitate the vetting of potential drivers for fit and proper purposes and vehicles for suitability to be included in its fleet, and where necessary to impose these requirements by the promulgation of legislation to ensure compliance. 

At present, Uber remains the only foreign-based provider to have engaged in discussions with the government to ensure that its operations, in all its facets, comply with local requirements.  

Mr. Vaz noted that Uber is fully aware and understands the government’s concerns and is willing to work with the government to operate within the recommended regulatory regime of Jamaica.

The Transport Authority is in receipt of a proposal from Uber, coming out of a series of meetings held prior to the imposition of the ban, regarding legal and regulatory concerns with its ride-hailing operations.


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