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Media Center > Press Releases > MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT ANNOUNCES REFORMS TO BUS DRIVER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, SEEKS MORE QUALIFIED DRI

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT ANNOUNCES REFORMS TO BUS DRIVER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, SEEKS MORE QUALIFIED DRIVERS

10/4/2017
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) have announced amendments to the Land Transport (Driver) Regulations 2000 to streamline the eligibility process for drivers seeking to apply for a bus driver’s licence.

Previously, to acquire a bus driver’s license (Class 5 license), drivers had to hold a taxi, carrier or mini-bus, or large vehicle license for over a year before they were eligible to apply for a bus driver’s license. The amendments to the regulation remove this eligibility requirement, as the requirement was determined to be unduly prescriptive and irrelevant in screening for successful applicants. The age of eligibility has also been brought down to 18 years from 21 years.

LTA General Manager Legal, Policy & Business Development, Mr. Navilesh Chand, emphasized that all applicants would still undergo the same rigorous testing system currently in place to acquire a bus driver’s license. He explained that the amended regulation was designed to simplify overly complex and unnecessary eligibility criteria.

“This amended regulation will not affect public safety, as all potential bus driver’s will be required to display the same level of knowledge and skills to pass the demanding Class 5 License test. What we’ve done is allow Government to cast a wider net to attract more qualified drivers, allowing more Fijians who have the proper skill set to pursue a career as a bus driver,” he said.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Praveen Bala welcomed the amended regulations as a positive step towards meeting an increasing demand for qualified bus drivers nationwide.

“Under the new eTransport system, public transit is becoming more efficient and more transparent, and by the day we are seeing an increased demand for qualified bus drivers. To help meet this new demand, we are encouraging bus operators to raise the salaries of their drivers in recognition of the demands of the market and to attract more Fijians into the profession. Government is doing our part as well, by making it easier to identify and hire qualified drivers by streamlining an unnecessarily-prohibitive application process,” he said.
 
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