PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – On October 23rd at the Stafbureau of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), Minister Ernest Sams made good on part of his promise and presented to representatives of various taxi and bus associations on the island a translated version of the draft national decree on public transportation.
This draft national decree being worked on currently serves the purpose of providing a bridge between the existing ordinance which is more than 40 years old and a new national ordinance on public transportation slated to be sent to parliament in 2016.
The draft national decree was distributed to those present and they were requested to review it and provide their feedback as part of the stakeholder consultation process within four weeks.
In the two hour meeting with public transportation stakeholders, Minister Sams and his Cabinet, Secretary General of Ministry TEATT and the Head of the Inspection Department TEZVT held an interactive discussion with the various association board members on the challenges faced by the industry including the influx of unsanctioned operators, industry trends and changes, areas of potential mutual collaboration.
What was also stressed in the meeting by Minister Sams and his team was the need for individual accountability, teamwork and professionalism by all. The meeting ended with all present agreeing to continue to foster positive communication and cooperation amongst each other by making use of more informal methods of communication like instant messaging to allow concerns, issues and ideas to be shared quickly and more effectively.
Former Minister responsible for Transport Claret Connor during a meeting held on the evening of June 4th, 2015 with public transportation operators at the Cultural Center made a promise to those present that he would ensure that a translated version of the National Ordinance on Public Transportation would be made available to them, and this took place in the latter part of October by Minister Ernest Sams who took over the ministry in early September.
The next step is to translate the existing national ordinance on public transportation promulgated in 1969 into English and make it available to all public transportation operators to aid in public awareness and enforcement.
L to R: Minister of Transportation Affairs Hon. Ernest Sams (4th from left seated) with representatives of various public transportation organizations and members of his Cabinet and officials from Ministry TEATT