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Platform Promises

Ride Ja offers to assist Gov't with national database

BY HORACE HINES
Observer reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 21, 2018

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HEAD of Ride Jamaica Dr Shaun Jones has extended an arm of assistance to the Ministry of Transport for the establishment of a national database to accelerate the process of granting licences under the public transport liberalisation pilot project.

Last Monday, the Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague launched a public transport liberalisation pilot project, which he says will result in the opening of 1,260 routes across the island, 100 spaces on select Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) sub-franchise routes and the offer of hackney taxi road licences.

“I am pleased to report to you that the Ride Jamaica platform could allow each taxi association, or each new route association, to onboard drivers into a national transportation database. With this facility, there would be a central storage of the necessary documentation for licensing,” offered Dr Jones.

He pointed out that the database would store documents, including recommendations, insurance policies, police records, copies of driver's licences, certificates of fitness, motor vehicle registrations, road licences and any other necessary document or forms.

“All this would be accessed via a secure login to the Admin Dashboard and a search for the driver's name. The licensing officer would then be able to easily review all documentation and determine approval or rejection without the need for the driver to be present. This is the level of efficiency that we envision for the future. And our future is available now,” Dr Jones argued.

“The reason this is important is that there is a three-month wait period now. In the global economy within which we compete, we cannot allow our people to be at a disadvantage. We too need instant authorisations, because others around the globe are getting instant authorisations by deploying cutting-edge technologies.”

He was speaking at the Ride Jamaica Awards Luncheon and Grand Launch in Montego Bay, St James, last Thursday during which the company unveiled new app features and new drivers' and passengers' tools.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Transport Minister Robert Montague used the opportunity to remind the audience that Dr Jones is moving to establish Ride Jamaica on an international platform and persons should not confuse the local company with the foreign-based Uber.

“ I hear a lot of people calling up the name of a company that is in the same business. I want them in America and Europe to be calling up Ride Jamaica name as the preferred service because as a nation we ought to be proud as Jamaicans because when we walk on the world stage we punch above our weight and Brand Jamaica is known worldwide and there is nothing wrong in us to have a dream and a vision for Ride Jamaica to conquer the world,” Montague charged.

“I dream of a day when at the Olympics, the official Olympics vehicle transport business is Ride Jamaica; I dream of a day when the FIFA World Cup is being played, that the official transportation is Ride Jamaica; and I dream of a day when we having Miss World, and we know a Jamaican is going to win, that the official transportation for Miss World is Ride Jamaica, and it is not beyond us.”

Ride Jamaica is the first mobile app-enabled taxi service to be launched in Jamaica and has been operating in Montego Bay for the past three years. The company is the only company that manages local, JUTA, JCAL, and MAXI taxi operators across the region.

The company operates segments, including Ride Jamaica International, Ride Jamaica Local, Ride Jamaica Kids, Ride Jamaica Corporate, and the Ride Jamaica host agency.

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