The Scarborough Esplanade, Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago. FILE PHOTO/JEFF MAYERS –
Maxi taxi drivers in Tobago who transport school children on the island will receive a one-time grant between $25,000 to $30,000, Tobago Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said on Thursday.
Speaking at Thursday’s post-Executive Council media briefing from the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, Augustine said many drivers were “hard hit” by covid19 and to date have been unable to get any kind of relief from the Government.
“We feel as though the maxi taxis drivers need some assistance at this time… Not just to get ready for the influx of tourists that we expect here after, because we’re preparing for Carnival, but to also be ready and efficient for school reopening.”
While the grants will not be available before Wednesday, Augustine said by next Friday, drivers should be able to begin accessing it.
“The Executive Council agreed that we would provide to every one of these 62 maxi taxis drivers between $25,000 and $30,000 depending on the size of your maxi taxis.
“This is to ensure that you get all the fixes done and that you’re able to begin to provide quality service to all school children.”
He said when face-to-face classes resumed for the secondary school children, there were complaints students were unable to get reliable transportation.
“Part of the problem is that maxi taxi drivers were struggling to get their maxis back up and operational.
“So this grant funding will be available to you. I am also going to guarantee you that we are not going to have our usual inordinately long bureaucratic process for you to have access.
“You are already in the system, you worked with us and so we have your information at the Division of Education and we are going to use that information to begin to roll out that grant funding for you.”