DP Questions Government on Bus & Taxi Licenses in connection with Changing Lanes Project

The DP sent in a letter to the Executive Council of St.Maarten in connection the recently signed project called ”Changing Lanes” with Commissioner Frans Richardson. 

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The following is her statement she made, followed by the letter sent in to the Executive Council of St.Maarten:

”It is in our opinion inconceivable that the Executive Council would use a project like Changing Lanes to motivate its decision to lift the moratorium on bus and taxi licenses, especially in these trying economic times and after the high season has passed. The project Changing Lanes is precisely to restructure public transportation, not open up the market indiscriminately.”

”We don’t expect answers to our questions. We don’t expect that Government will "come clean" (to use their own words).”

”We can only hope that the consultation that the Commissioner of Economic Affairs announced regarding the Changing Lanes project, will also entail consultation on lifting the moratorium at this time. We doubt this though, as the decision to lift the moratorium has already been taken by government without the input of any-one else.”


The letter sent in the Executive Concil from the DP:


The Executive Council of Sint Maarten

Administration Building


June 24, 2010

Honorable Council,

Commissioner Frans Richardson, during an interview last week, regarding the signing of the USONA-funded project "Changing Lanes", stated that the Executive Council has lifted the moratorium on bus and taxi permits.

The Changing Lanes project is a project initiated by the Democratic Party administration, so the original project is known to us.

To hear government now state that they have lifted the moratorium on bus and taxi permits, "to do a study on the public transportation system", defies all logic.

In our opinion, ahead of this announced study, government should exercise restraint and hold off on lifting the moratorium, until they are better able to assess the entire public transportation system.

But since government has (matter-of-factly) announced the lifting of the moratorium, I submit the following questions to the Executive Council:

How many applications are currently pending for bus and taxi licenses?

How many permit holders make use of assistant (help) chauffeurs?

How many bus licenses are in name of a company?

How many of these permit holders(companies) employ independent bus owners as chauffeurs?

What will government’s policy be in granting taxi and bus licenses, now that they have lifted or will be lifting the moratorium on bus and taxi licenses? How many licenses has government issued since the lifting of the moratorium?

Is the Commission for Public Transportation operational? Who is on the Commission?

I look forward to a speedy answer to these questions,


Sarah Wescot-Williams, Island Council member, Democratic Party Faction