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Ministry of Works & Transport

MOWT's response to the suspension of UBER's services

MOWT's response to the suspension of UBER's services Printable Version

29 May 2018

The Minister of Works and Transport notes the published decision of UBER to suspend its operations in
Trinidad and Tobago effective May 30th, 2018 and the reasoning advanced for the suspension.
The national community is reminded of the Ministry’s previously stated position on the operations of
the company in this country and the need for it to comply with all applicable laws.
This is all the much more important in the context of the complexities of the local transportation

Since the commencement of UBER’s operations in Trinidad and Tobago, the Minister of Works and
Transport along with senior officials from the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs met
with UBER on several occasions, with a view to working with the company for the purpose of re-aligning
its operations in conformity with the country’s laws, particularly, the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic
Act and Motor Vehicle Insurance (Third Party Risks) Act.

Towards this end, UBER was required to comply with two essential and immovable requirements which
have affected the local informal transportation industry. Firstly UBER was required to fully disclose the
particulars of its insurance coverage certification for passengers and drivers. Secondly it was asked to
disclose its taxation structures as its system purportedly operates on a deduction system as it relates to
its driver’s earnings without disclosure as to the payment of corporate, withholding and other taxes and
benefits, which should accrue to its local drivers.

Disclosure and provision of this information is essential in facilitating the State’s understanding of UBER’s operations and to further embark upon a national consultation for the purpose of crafting a policy for these operations within our jurisdiction, as well as the wider informal transportation industry.

Unfortunately, the information requested of UBER has never been provided.

The Ministry of Works and Transport pledges to work and collaborate with any interested stakeholder with the aim of achieving a reliable transportation system for all of our citizens. Such collaboration, however, must be premised upon an agreement and willingness to operate within the laws of our country in the best interest of all. The protection of our locals and of our economy should never be subjected to arbitrariness and lack of transparency.
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