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Revolutionary transport bill passes

The Chamber of Deputies signed off on the new Dominican Republic transit bill that replaces Law 241 that dates back to 1967. The transport bill now passes to the Presidency for signing and publication. It provides new rules for the organizing of passenger and cargo transport in the Dominican Republic at a time when the country has the highest traffic accident rate in the Americas.  The bill establishes free market for the contracting of cargo and passenger services, and authorizes taxis using Internet platforms.

In an editorial on Saturday, 11 February 2017, Diario Libre is skeptical the new norms will be applied and asks for a reality check.

The measures included in the extensive bill are intended to drastically change ground passenger and cargo transport and will impact businesses located on streets, parking, and the condition of vehicles allowed to transit. It also has rules for pedestrians.

For instance, the new bill establishes a maximum number of passengers that may share a multi-fare passenger taxis (conchos) may transport. Today, conchos will pack six passengers in the back seat and two in the front and the vehicles can be up to 20 years old.  The bill also establishes that motorcycle taxis may only carry one adult passenger and no minors under 8 years old.

The bill establishes limits to the age of vehicles offering public transport service. Vehicles older than allowed will not be issued the annual vehicular permits (marbetes). INTRANT is responsible for vehicle inspections.

The Diario Libre editorialist wonders: “And who will apply the law?” “Will Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) agents dedicate themselves to dismount the additional passengers, especially in peak hours?”

An amendment in the Senate reduced the funding for the transport organization effort. The bill assigns 75% of collections for traffic fines to the Attorney General Office and only 25% to the INTRANT.

The 96-page and 360-articles Mobility, Ground Transport, Transit and Road Safety Bill of the Dominican Republic and Ground Transit Institute (Intrant) creates the National Institute for Transit and Ground Transport (INTRANT) as the government body in charge of regulating ground transport. It will operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Public Works and replaces the present Technical Office of Ground Transport (OTTT), the Ground Transport Agency (DGTT), the Council for the Administration and Regulation of Taxis (CART), the Pension Agency for Public Transport Drivers and the Fund for Development of Ground Transport (Fondet).

The bill also creates the Transit Security and Land Transport Agency (DIGESETT) that will group the Metropolitan Transport Authorities of Santo Domingo and Santiago, under the umbrella of the National Police.

The bill had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies in 2015, but stagnated in Congress until fast-tracked through the Senate and passed in two consecutive readings. Given that some changes were made in the Senate, it was returned to the Chamber of Deputies that gave it their approval on Friday, 10 February 2017.

Transport associations are given 18 months to comply with the law once it is signed into law by President Danilo Medina.

Source: DR1, Listindiario

Feb 14, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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