CARIBBEAN: T&T gov’t seeking to put brakes on Uber

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CARIBBEAN: T&T gov’t seeking to put brakes on Uber

uberJAMAICA OBSERVER – The Trinidad and Tobago government said that it is seeking legal advice to determine whether or not the ride sharing app Uber can continue to operate in the country less than 24 hours after it began operations here.

The Ministry of Works and Transport in a statement released on Monday night said while Uber is known internationally, local authorities were concerned over the legality of its operations within this jurisdiction.

“A major concern of the Ministry of Works and Transport in the operation of Uber is whether private vehicles would be used for hire,” the ministry said, making reference to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, which states “no person shall drive on any road, a taxi registered as such, unless he is the holder of a taxi-driver’s licence issued to him by the Licensing Authority under these regulations”.

According to the ministry, when you travel with an authorised taxi, you are ensuring the relevant checks and balances have taken place.

“Further, the use of a private vehicle for hire is contrary to its registration. The public is advised that no private vehicle should be used for hire,” the ministry said.

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  1. Soon enough you will need a license because you're renting your private property ....Governments around the world need to reaccess their roles and responsibility or it will be done for them through business models just like Uber!

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  2. Uber is working with a splendid record in jurisdictions worldwide.

    A common misconception is that Uber is not safe. That's wrong. Uber is actually morre safe than flagging a taxi on the stret or even phoning for one where any driver or anyone with a radio can decide to take the fare. Rather, each Uber driver is registered with Uber following a vetting process. When someone in need of a ride uses their smartphone for Uber, they are aware of the driver and vehicle that will be picking them up, as well as ratings of the driver. The exact same goes for the driver - they have a record of what registered Uber user they are picking up, and can see the ratings of the passenger by other uber drivers.

    Further, there is no need to caeey cash --- the transaction is all done through Uber.

    I say that having been a frequent user of taxis and who now uses Uber exclusively when I visit elsewhere, based on certainty, safety and security.

    Here in St. Lucia, taxis and fake taxis are understandably nervous because of would bring into the industry a new level of transparency, accountability, pricing certainty and safety for passengers. And no more making up the fare based on how much the taxi driver thinks the customer can afford.

    The taxi industry will lobby against it, claiming a decline in all aspects of service and safety and that the tourism industry will collapse. Lies. Mis-truths. Plain and simple --- fake information.

    It is also important to note that Unber is not meant to be a replacement for mini-buses - never. Rather, it is uniquely positioned to allow qualified drivers a driver service that is an alternative to taxi's and the counterfeit illegal taxis.

    Bring on Uber to St. Lucia, our island's passengers deserve better than what we have now.

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