MONDAY, JAN. 23: November to January is the time that taxi owners get their vehicles relicenced. 

It is my understanding that there are some who maintained their licence status in the past despite the fact that they did not have a working GPS. In the last few weeks some taxi operators have failed the process to retain their licence due to a faulty GPS.  We have received numerous visits and pleas from taxi owners who have purchased systems that were not operational and find it an extreme burden to secure enough finances to purchase another device.

As we remain in this economic downturn, the Ministry of Transport is sensitive to the plight of those who have paid out a considerable amount of money only to find out that the product was faulty.

As a result, the Ministry of Transport will extend a six months grace period to all taxi operators who have not had their licence renewed as a result of a defective GPS.  Having said that let me reiterate, that all of these affected operators must work to find solutions to this dilemma.

After the six months grace period, we will be monitoring the equipment in taxis attentively. Please be reminded that according to the Motor Car Act 1951, there is quite a hefty penalty for those who are non-compliant.

I understand that my predecessor gave allowances in the past.  I have implemented a six months grace period so that individual taxi operators can get their GPS systems and Mobile Data Terminals in good working order.

My advice to all taxi operators who are non-complaint is that they use this grace period to diligently resolve their GPS issues. We have been sympathetic to the plight and encourage all owners to take this opportunity to do the right thing and this means that they will ensure that they have a working GPS and Mobile Data Terminal within the six month period.

Under the Motor Car Act, all vehicles must be licenced for a twelve month period; however, due to the current economic climate, I am using my authority under the Act to grant permission for motor taxis to be licenced for six month periods.  This means that they will now be in a position to license their motor taxis twice per year.