……No word so far from minister on concerns about Uber entry
Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, has commended RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited on the launch of its new RedPlate Transporter/ Driver App.
The app, which was officially launched virtually on Wednesday, June 17, offer services to persons in the trucking, taxi, bus and biker businesses, providing a platform for drivers and riders to subscribe to an all-in-one application for daily transporting, delivery, shopping and mobile money needs.
The launch involved some key players in the transport sector, including the Transport Authority (TA) and representatives of several taxi associations.
Montague lauded the introduction of the app, outlining that it is among steps that are needed to transform the transport sector to the dynamic industry he envisions it to be.
“What we are doing here tonight is opening a new chapter where technology meets transport,” said Montague in his address.
He stated that the Ministry of Transport and Mining endorses and supports the endeavour, describing it as being wonderful to know that the country is progressing in the technological sphere.
Montague also encouraged cab drivers to utilise the opportunity being presented by the new app as a means to maximise their streams of revenue by not limiting their services to simply transporting people in the same old fashion way.
“What RedPlate offers is an advanced improvement to what currently exists, and what is even more, (it) is home-grown,” said Montague.
The transport minister took the opportunity to again challenge the industry to unify and develop plans that address the next chapter of service delivery, and expressed pleasure that the RedPlate App provides another option for the transportation of both people and goods.
“Passengers will have the options of paying (with) cash, which we hope to move away from quickly, as well as debit and credit cards,” said Aldo Antonio, President and CEO of RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited.
Under the RedPlate Subscription Plan, each driver/vehicle is to be fitted with a RedPlate SmartPhone with a 24/7 Data and Call plan.
“We are of the view that we at the Transport Authority will have to first change ourselves in order to cause change in the public transport system. We have to pay keen attention to how our conduct affects the success of the industry,” said Managing Director at the TA, Willard Hilton.
He commended RedPlate for what he described as a bold move forward, and gave his commitment to support the App and what it stands for in Jamaica.
The RedPlate Group is a Caribbean-based, business-to-business (B2B) technology and data-driven, fully-integrated fulfilment, logistic and transportation solutions provider with backward integrations into e-commerce and mobile payments.
While the TA had a less complimentary take on another high-tech transportation service that was announced a day before, which drew a written response from the agency on Wednesday, the transport minister is yet to break his silence on the announced introduction of Uber’s taxi service in Jamaica without approval from the TA. This is while a number of taxi association representatives have been asking if the American ridesharing service company is being held to the same public transportation requirements that are in place for the local public passenger service providers.