Legal win for Tobago maxi drivers
With schools set to reopen on Monday, 31 Tobago maxi taxi drivers yesterday claimed a legal victory over the Tobago House of Assembly regarding the provision of transport for school children.
This was confirmed by attorney Martin George, who represented drivers.
George had filed a judicial review application against the THA on behalf of the 31 drivers. This was part of their bid to prevent the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) from inserting itself into their longstanding contractual arrangement with THA to provide transport for students.
Justice Jacqueline Wilson granted leave for drivers to proceed to judicial review against the THA on the issue.
Drivers had claimed that the new proposed arrangements with the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) are unreasonable and unfair, discriminatory and ought to be struck out.
Drivers claimed that for the past 30 years they have been successfully and efficiently managing and servicing the schools’ transport contracts for THA, filling a void left by PTSC.
Drivers said they bought special buses and took loans for this.
They noted that unlike their Trinidad counterparts they don’t have the option to work their maxi taxis as route taxis to supplement their income since Tobagonians traditionally and culturally don’t use route maxis.
Drivers complained that the new proposed contracts by PTSC was age-discriminatory as it proposed a cutoff age of 60 years while many drivers are approaching 60 or are past that- but have been diligently managing the contract with THA for years.
They added that PTSC with THA’s blessings was purporting to now give them only one-year contracts with no guarantee of renewal and could terminate them at any time.
They said this put them in a precarious financial position.
by Gail Alexander