Wednesday 16 January, 2019

Payments for maxi-taxi operators from Wednesday

Maxi-taxi operators contracted by the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) to transport school children will begin receiving outstanding payments from tomorrow.

The first batch of the payments, $3.2 million, will be made to the drivers who have not been paid since September 2018. All payments are expected to be settled by Friday.

The news follows a meeting between representatives of the Maxi Taxi Drivers Association, the PTSC and senior executives of the Education Ministry at the Ministry’s St Vincent Street, Port of Spain headquarters on Tuesday.

Speaking at a media conference following the closed-door meeting, Education Minister Anthony Garcia noted that the problem has been a long-standing one, which arose out of the system in place to validate and process payments.  

Garcia explained that the invoices are submitted to the PTSC, which are sent to the Ministry and then have to be verified before the payments are made to the maxi-taxi operators.

Also at the conference was President of the Maxi Taxi Concessionaires Association Rodney Ramlogan, who said that he expects a smooth transition in the receipt of payments following Tuesday’s meeting.

PTSC General Manager Bashir Mohammed assured that timely payments to the concessionaires should be expected now that the “gaps” which led to the delays in payments have been identified.

“Working closely with the Ministry and the Maxi Taxi Association we are committed that the payments…gets completed… by tomorrow we’ll get some payments out relating to September 2018 and by the end of the week the rest of the payments, bringing their accounts up to date.

Based on the gaps we have identified, we now have a better system in place to better manage this thing, so moving forward, we should be in a better place to ensure that timely payments are made to the Maxi Taxi Association, and, by so doing, ensuring that our schoolchildren are transported in a safe and secure manner to and from their destination.”

Over 10,000 children at 161 schools use the transportation service.

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