The administration has gone a step further to encourage taxi operators to join the yellow cab ranks by paving the way to allow those who comply sole access to government transportation contracts.
Government spokesman Dr Roger Luncheon made the announcement yesterday saying the Cabinet on Tuesday gave the green light that would allow the yellow cab companies and operators “exclusive access to contracts for transport services by government agencies.
“We have recognised the merits of the yellow cab initiative and to allow it to flower, to achieve maximally what is possible, incentives have always been recognised as a good driver. This is an incentive … to encourage the old cab driver to turn into the new yellow cab driver knowing that dedicatedly there are opportunities available were he or she to do so,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
The government last month offered 10-year concessions for those who complied and extended the deadline for compliance with the new regulation to January 1, 2011.
This emerged from a meeting between President Bharrat Jagdeo and taxi service operators. According to a joint statement from OP and the operators, cars attached to a service must be sprayed in corporate yellow by January 1, while those not registered with a service have the option of doing so. However, the private operators will not enjoy the benefits of the concessions if they choose not to go with the prescribed colour.
These include a 25% reduction in excise tax charged on vehicles imported for registration as a yellow cab; a 10-year waiver on the motor vehicle licence fee paid by registered yellow cabs; and a 10-year waiver on the fitness fee for yellow cabs.
The Guyana Tourism Authority had advised visitors and tourists during the August vacation to use the services of the yellow taxis for their “safety, security and comfort” during their stay in Guyana.
Complying operators had previously been granted a waiver of fees for revenue licences, road service licences, fitness certificates and radio spectrum for a two-year period. That had been conditional on the fulfilment of the usual requirements by the Guyana Revenue Authority and the police.
In addition to personal hire cars, the Home Affairs Ministry notes that the re-spraying mandate does not apply to minibuses and Tapirs that are being used for public transportation.
Last year, Jagdeo met the owners of taxi services countrywide to discuss measures to modernise the service. Several proposals were made including installing meters to determine mileage and cost, uniforms, installing flex glass, banning passengers from the front seat and installing the service’s official logo. It was reported that the government also plans to fund training sessions on first aid and customer service for taxi drivers.