The Route 2 Maxi Taxi Drivers’ Association is opposing the rapid rail plan saying it could affect many Maxi operators.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, president of the association, Linus Philip says what’s unfair to its members is that there is no transport policy. He said in the absence of this, maxi operators are forced to make investments upward of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars in vehicles, and then are suddenly blind-sided with talk of a rapid rail system.
He says in 2005 former Transport Minister Franklin Khan encouraged drivers to upgrade their vehicles from smaller maxi taxis to larger ones, yet one year later, a plan for a rapid rail system was revealed to the public.
Philip assured that waiting times will soon be cut down due to investments being made by drivers, who are upgrading from smaller maxi taxis to larger ones. This he says will help accommodate transportation of larger numbers of the travelling public.
However, Transport Minister Fitzgerald Hinds says that will eight hundred thousand vehicles on the nation’s roadways, the rapid rail is necessary.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday Hinds said that the rail system is a means to ensuring that the traffic situation experienced daily can be alleviated. He added that as citizens continue to purchase vehicles, the country could one day wake to find a national gridlock.
The Transport Minister is assuring that any decision taken on the rapid rail will not be to the detriment of maxi operators.