Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Mikael Phillips, says he has written to Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, urging him to consider a mechanism to cushion the effect of the new toll rates on the commuting public.

Mr. Phillips wrote to the Minister yesterday regarding the Notice of Intention to Vary Toll under the Toll Roads Act.

The Opposition Spokesman says he was fully aware of the provisions of the Act and the clauses in the Tolling Policy Agreement, including Schedule 15 of the Concession Agreement.

This Agreement permits an annual application for an increase in the toll tariffs.

However, Mr. Phillips questioned the timing of Minister Montague’s intention to approve such a significant increase of ten per cent at this time.

He asserted that Jamaicans, particularly the residents of Portmore, are still suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He says as a result, affordability is an issue for residents, whether using private or public transport.

The Opposition Spokesman said although the Minister had no power to delay either annual reviews or orders by the Toll Authority, he nonetheless called on him to devise an approach to cushion the severe impact on the commuting public.

The new toll rates are scheduled to take effect on the first weekend of July 2021.