Public transport permits under the microscope

POSTED: 03/18/15 8:06 PM

MP Wescot-Williams sends questions to Minister Connor


St. Maarten – The closed-door committee meeting of last Tuesday about bus and taxi permits ended prematurely, because Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication Minister Claret Connor asked committee members to submit their questions about this issue in writing.

Connor said that he has decided to keep the moratorium for public transportation permits in place. The ministerial decree for this moratorium was signed on February 19, 2014.

Democratic party MP Sarah Wescot-Williams sent the questions she has about the permits to the media yesterday. She has asked Minister Connor for an overview of all permits that have been issues since 2010, and how many the ministry issued since the moratorium is in place.

Furthermore, Wescot-Williams wants to know whether the permits were issued in accordance with the national ordinance Public Transportation and what other policies apply to requests for permits. “Are there quotas, or specific target groups?”

The MP also asks whether the public transportation committee is operational and it if has advised the government on all permits since 2010. “If not, on how many did the committee not advise?”

How many taxi and bus permits have been issued to companies, is the next question on the MP’s list. And then there is this one: “How does the minister plan to curb the illegal leasing of taxi and bus permits?” Wescot-Williams also wants to see the waiting list for taxi, bus and tour licenses.

She recommends “developing a system to enforce the laws and to implement control mechanisms” and to “decide on the approach to the gypsy-phenomenon.” Other recommendations are the development of a strategy for off-season business for taxis, the finalization of the public transportation system and the publishing of relevant policies. Last but not least, Wescot-Williams suggests to implement the recommendation from the PricewaterhouseCoopers integrity report to create a public roster of permit-holders in all categories.

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