Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill has issued a call to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to have a safer, more comfortable, and sophisticated design for water taxis or, as they are known locally, ‘speedboats.’
While water taxis are now somewhat safer, Minister Edghill pointed out more can be done to enhance safety for this particular means of transportation.
This call was made by the Minister recently at an event held to commemorate World Maritime Day, which was observed under the theme “New Technologies for Greener Shipping.” It was based on the significance of this theme that Minister Edghill issued this call.
“I think it’s time that MARAD, in the interest of safety as well as passengers' comfort move from that level to a higher level, and I think it is a good time for me to say to MARAD we need to see a more sophisticated design that enhance safety as well as passenger comfort,” Edghill said.
Though Minister Edghill did not make any other particular request for upgrades, he recalled the days when the water taxis had even lower safety standards. However, the water taxis are a bit safer with a proposal from the former Public Works Minister and substantive Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn.
“We all used to be in open boats without tarpaulins’ or leatherette covering up from the water, and my colleague Minister Benn thanks to his foresight and thinking, thought that we needed to improve, and now we have shed boats, and that has adopted,” Edghill reminded the gathering at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Head of MARAD, Stephon Thomas, had recently said the unit is working on drafting a new plan for the design of water taxis - one of Guyana’s main modes of public transportation.
When the plan is drafted, the key focus will be placed on safety and comfort. The new design would first be rolled out in the Demerara region.