File picture: A member of the public looks for a taxi along the Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna.

Approximately 69 per cent of females along the East-West Corridor use private hire cars as their only mode of transport following the absence of a reliable form of public transportation.

This is according to a recent survey by Dr Trevor Townsend, Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UWI—which found the unregulated sector had expanded its reach over the years, competing directly with legitimate maxi-taxis and taxis.

Continuing work that had begun as far back as 2016, the Ministry of Works and Transport yesterday hosted a working session which included Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, National Security Minister Stuart Young, Transport Commissioner Clive Clarke, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, and TTPS Road Safety Coordinator Brent Watson, with a view to embarking on a massive registration exercise for PH drivers in the next couple of months which would include a complete digitisation of the current system.

This would mean the changing out of number plates to electronically tagged identification; registration of drivers holding authorised permits; and the introduction of a Radio Frequency Identification system in all vehicles.

Speaking minutes after exiting the session, the AG said, “If you want to be a PH driver, you must register to be one. Your vehicle needs to be approved and you yourself, will need to be approved.”

Al-Rawi said the users of these vehicles needed to be assured of whose car they were getting into, whether the driver was in conflict with the law, and the defined routes for the vehicle to operate.

The AG said a note was expected to go before the Cabinet this week outlining the proposed measures.

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said the policy framework was a work in progress and that citizens would soon be made aware of what changes are on the books.

Transport Commissioner Clive Clarke was unable to say exactly how many PH drivers operate in T&T, and he is optimistic that the registration exercise will net this information.

Meanwhile, TTPS Road Safety Coordinator Brent Watson said they had witnessed significant behaviour change through the use of technology, good policy, tools and equipment, and education.