Transport Minister, Robert Montague, is rejecting as disappointing a comment by his Opposition counterpart, Mikhael Phillips, that there’s a credible threat of strike action by public passenger vehicle operators due to the failure of the government to grant a fare increase.

Mr. Phillips made the comment in a statement to the media on August 30.

Responding yesterday, Mr. Montague says he’s deeply disappointed that the Opposition Spokesman appears to support a strike by public passenger vehicle operators despite the beginning of the new school year.

Minister Montague says the posture by Mr. Phillips is reflective of a person of haughty and insensitive privilege.

He says it’s clear the Opposition Spokesman is not aware of the dependence of the average Jamaican, especially children of the poor, on the public transportation sector.

Robert Montague, Transport Minister speaking yesterday with Nationwide News.

In the meantime, the Transport Ministry says it has moved to ensure a smooth start to the school year.

According to the Ministry, yesterday, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, JUTC, rolled out  421 buses.

The Ministry says 15 buses will be added to the fleet as soon as a container of parts is cleared by customs.

According to the Transport Ministry, the Montego Bay Metro service yesterday rolled out 11 buses – up from 5.

The Ministry says in an effort to ensure public order is maintained, the Transport Authority has mobilized additional route inspectors who’ve been strategically placed across the island.

The Ministry says it’s commending the operators who did not yield to the call for them to withdraw their service but turned out to take students to school safely.

The Transport Ministry says while it acknowledges the challenges in the sector, discussions have been on-going with stakeholders, with a total of 17 consultations in 16 months.

Minister Montague says he has committed to deal with issues in a timely manner.

He says so far significant progress has been made.