Priority Bus Route Unit
The Priority Bus Route Unit was established in an attempt to regulate and maintain the use of the Priority Bus Route that is a major road network that falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and Transport in accordance with Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act 48: 50. As a result of the services provided by the Unit, there is a direct relationship with Maxi Taxi Route 2 (Red Band) drivers. The Unit has had its origin in the Traffic Management Branch of the Ministry; however, it has since developed into an independent unit that falls under the direct purview of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport. In an effort to preserve the PBR as a Priority Route and to minimize the use of the route for commuting in non-transit vehicles, particularly during the peak periods, only authorized vehicles are given access.
Services of the PBR Unit
- To manage/coordinate the distribution of PBR permits and related tasks
- To issue PBR Private-Light Motor Vehicle Permits
- To issue PBR Maxi Taxi permits to successful applicants /vehicles
- Renewal of PBR Maxi Taxi and Private light motor vehicle permits every term
Background of the PBR
According to Cabinet Minute dated 3rd July, 1987, the Priority Bus Route (PBR) was proposed as a component of the East/West Corridor Transportation System by the Joint Venture firm Lea-Trintoplan, acting as Consultants to the Highways Division of the then Ministry of Transport and Communications in 1974. This route was implemented in an attempt to alleviate the traffic congestion in the East/West Corridor.
The PBR was implemented as a major transit link providing quick and efficient movement for large numbers of the public transportation users that would encourage a more efficient use of roadway space and lead to a decrease in the demand for private car usage with the accompanying high infrastructure, congestion and pollution cost.
In line with this, the Maxi-Taxi System was first introduced in 1979, with 11-seater vehicles plying regulated routes throughout Trinidad and Tobago. This was followed by the introduction of 25-seater maxi taxis in 1982, in an attempt to utilize the existing road space more efficiently; and to provide more public transportation capacity.
The route was conceptualized to encourage the shifting of maxi taxi operations away from the Eastern Main Road and onto the Priority Bus Route. This initiative alleviated some of the existing congestion on the Eastern Main Road in particular, as well as influenced the operation of maxi taxis, according to Cabinet Minute dated January 1992, 30, Note no. (92-6).
PBR Vehicle Authorization
The MOWT has viewed, with concern, the number of unauthorized vehicles that use the PBR and wishes to advise the public that:
1) All PBR permits which were issued in a given year will no longer be valid for the Route, with effect from January of the following year (specific date will be indicated by the PBR Unit)
2) In accordance with the Highways Act,Classification of Highways Order Part 1B, Special Roads Trinidad, Priority Bus Route Section 2: The Priority Bus Route is to be used exclusively by:
(a) Public Service vehicles of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC)
(b) Police Service vehicles marked as such
(c) Fire Service Vehicles and Ambulances
(d) Vehicles authorised by the Licensing Authority under regulation 38, rule 12(4) of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Regulations to use sirens and flashing roof lights to preempt the right of way of other vehicles based on the existence of an emergency situation
(e) Vehicles used for the repair or maintenance of the PBR or any service supplied by a public utility along that route
3) Private vehicles displaying one of the following PBR Permits, i.e. Permanent, Temporary, Special, or Letter Permits.
4) Commercial vehicles displaying the following: PBR permit, Maxi Taxi
PBR Speed Limit
The speed limit on the Priority Bus Route is 65kph and failure to comply could result in the PBR Permit being suspended or revoked.
NO OTHER PERMITS OR EMBLEMS OTHERWISE DISPLAYED ON A VEHICLE AUTHORISES THAT VEHICLE TO USE THE PRIORITY BUS ROUTE.