‘Uber with care’ warns Transport Ministry

The Ministry of Works and Transport would like to acknowledge the recent launch of Uber, a taxi service facilitated by the use of a smart phone application and the hire of privately owned vehicles.

While this service is known internationally, the local authorities are 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 Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act provides that “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 Licencing Authority under these regulations.”

When you travel with an authorised taxi, you are ensuring that 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 issue of insurance cannot be overlooked. Unauthorised vehicles may not have the necessary insurance coverage for all passengers. Therefore, using a vehicle contrary to its registration may have far reaching implications for the driver and passengers.

The Ministry of Works and Transport will be seeking legal advice to determine if the service can continue to operate within Trinidad and Tobago’s legislative framework.

In light of the above, the public is asked to exercise caution and due diligence.