Story & Photo By: SEAN NERO
Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz, left, shares a candid moment with David Sabga, deputy chairman, ANSA McAl Group and Sieunarine Persad-Coosal, executive chairman, Coosal Group of Companies.
Tax-payers will save close to $100 million when the Port Authority converts the fuel source used by the inter-island ferries from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG) Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz has said. “We are going to be saving over $100 million a year, by running ferries on LNG which is a non-issue as far as T&T is concerned. It should have been done many years ago,” he said. While outling plans towards improving travel between T&T by sea, Cadiz said new and bigger ferries to handle increased cargo and passengers too were on stream.
Speaking at ANSA Automotive’s unveiling of its new Ford motors showroom on Charles Street in Port-of-Spain on Saturday, the minister the moves was a key initiative as Government moved closer to establishing and constituting the Transit Authority of T&T (TATT). On the issue of the Airports Authority, Cadiz said, making Piarco International and the Arthur NR Robinson airports world class facility was a major priority of the Government. “There is a lot of work going on in the ministry of transport. We are hoping to engage T&T in this fix, because it is a major fix. We have the new Transit Authority (of T&T) that is coming on stream which will tie in all the different types of public transport that we have,” the minister said.
He declared transport as a science and said it was aligned to the growth of every national economy. Cadiz said his ministry’s strategic agencies were all being revamped to ensure greater reliability of service to the consumer, while improving the aesthetics of the vehicles and hubs for productivity. “There is a whole business involving transport. I am very much pleased to be part of a Government that is bringing the Motor Vehicle Authority (MVA) on stream, which is going to change the way which we do business on the roads. So whether or not you’re a motor car dealer, driver, motor car owner, there is a whole new way that we are going to be doing business,” he said.
Cadiz added, “The MVA is going to be state-of-the-art facility where we expect your time at any one of the 13 MVA offices–some full access, some limited access–to be ten to 15 minutes maximum. That is the mark that we are using. Once you have all the information, you will no longer be taking a day off from work to go and business in the licensing office. Representatives of the car companies will be licensing their vehicles in a facility like this. It is no longer necessary for this convoy going down to the licensing office to be inspected. So we are going to revolutionise the way we do business in transport.”
After 52 years of Independence diplomatic license plates were to be issued in T&T. Cadiz said since 1962, the diplomatic corps had been asking for diplomatic (license) plates on their official vehicles. Despite that positive development, Cadiz admitted that the issue of PH drivers, which was now common on the nation’s road and the new “white ban maxi taxi” phenomenon were challenges for the Government. “These are things that are very troubling to us, but we have to bring these things under control. We are in the middle of discussions now on the issue of PH drivers and the newest phenomenon which is the ‘white band maxis’” he said.
Cadiz added, “I am practically living in PTSC these days revamping the bus company. The business company provides transport to 14 million passengers a year and yet still, PTSC is a very challenging job; making it work properly. We will get it working. We will get PTSC fixed. It is achievable and we will get it done.”
Monday 27th October, 2014
Group Corporate Communications Department