The IAJ welcomes any development of transportation services that provide benefits to passengers. The technology used by ride-sharing companies creates value primarily through:
• Competitive Pricing
o through the ability to track the route taken, provide the rider information about the driver including name, car make, model and registration number via the app
o through on demand service and cashless transactions
• Transparency and accountability
o through the rating feature available to both drivers and riders which allows for a greater level of quality control and customer service
The IAJ’s position is that all operators in the sector should comply with the laws of the land including ensuring they have the necessary protections for drivers, passengers and the wider public. Equally, operators should have a level playing field. Standards for licensing, insurance, driver qualifications and all other requirements should be met by all providers.
Having been prevented from raising fares for eight years, and then having faced a catastrophic loss of demand caused by COVID, the Jamaican taxi industry should be protected from unfair competition.
With respect to Uber in particular, the IAJ encourages people who intend to sign up as a driver to advise their own insurance company of this intention. Failing to do so may result in having no insurance cover. Uber has stated that they are providing cover for legal liability to third parties, and injury to passengers. There is no insurance for damage to the operator’s car. And the coverage provided by Uber applies only when a registered Uber passenger is in the vehicle. At all other times the operator must rely on his or her own insurance. It is therefore critical for Uber operators to ensure that their own insurer is aware that the vehicle will be used for ride-sharing.