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Transport Minister: PH taxis still against law
Anyone operating a PH taxi runs the risk of having a violent confrontation with the law says Transport Minister Devant Maharaj. Maharaj said this while responding to questions from the media during yesterday’s launch of the Route 2 (red band) Maxi Taxi Association Training programme at the Route 2 Association Office at City Gate, Port-of-Spain. Maharaj emphasised that PH taxis remained illegal in T&T and said the legislation of PH taxis was still under review with his ministry. Maharaj said one of the issues being looked at was the fact that no insurance company had come forward willing to insure passengers of PH vehicles.
“The law remains the same and if police officers come across the individuals then they will have to act accordingly,” Maharaj said. The training programme, titled Excellence in Service, A Driver’s Guide is aimed at upgrading the service provided to commuters by drivers. President of the Route 2 Maxi Taxi Association, Linus Phillip, said the association was trying to empower drivers to give a better service to tourists and the travelling public. “Our aim is to give drivers the know how to diffuse situations on the job,” said Phillip. Phillip said the association’s aim was to get every maxi taxi operator certified in First Aid and to have First Aid kits installed in every maxi taxi on the road.
Maharaj described the training programme as overdue by about two decades. “City Gate sees maxi taxis transporting about 200,000 people daily,” Maharaj said. He revealed that a maxi-taxi advisory committee had been set up last October and had already held four meetings. He said the committee consisted of the ministry’s permanent secretary, a representative of the police service, a representative from the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC), three representatives from the Maxi Taxi Association and one from the Taxi Association.
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