(CMR) The Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure (MPAHI) has announced a monumental step in enhancing transportation in the Cayman Islands after Cabinet commissioned the Ministry to create a business case with a view of potentially creating a Department of Transportation.
The review will take a critical view of the National Roads Authority (NRA), the Department of Vehicle and Driver's Licensing (DVDL), and the Public Transport Unit (PTU), all of which have a part to play in transportation in the Cayman Islands. This decisive move mirrors best practices from the UK, paving the way for an integrated entity dedicated to organizing, designing, and maintaining all transportation facets in the Cayman Islands.
“This is the first step in more than a structural change; it's a commitment to our community. By analyzing these departments collectively and holistically, we are laying down the tracks for a transportation system that is safer, more reliable, and ready to meet the demands of our growing population. The future of Cayman's transport is now on a path to world-class standards,” Minister Johany “Jay” Ebanks shared.
This review will also examine a financial reform of the NRA and how reform can support a high-quality transport infrastructure while maintaining a budget surplus for governmental fiscal health. The NRA is principally funded by the Road Fund, which comes from fuel import duties and driver’s license fees.
As part of its commitment to holistic transportation improvement, the Ministry stated that it was also excited to announce the imminent launch of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) this week. This Cabinet-approved national strategy will be integral to a vision of creating safer roads and reducing the incidence of traffic accidents and injuries across the islands.
According to the Ministry, this integration is a testament to the Ministry's holistic approach to transportation policy, which has been meticulously developed since Transportation was added to the Ministry’s portfolio in April 2023.
The Ministry said it is committed to constructing a modern, efficient, and sustainable transport network, anticipating and facilitating the needs of a rapidly growing population of which projections could reach 100,000 residents.
Harnessing insights from Deloitte's comprehensive report, the Ministry (PAHI) said it will make informed, data-driven decisions that will underpin the future transportation blueprint for the Cayman Islands. This effort is complemented by the valuable input of a dedicated Transportation Team, comprising experts from the UK's Department for Transport, who are instrumental in formulating strategies to revamp public transportation into a more accessible and efficient one.
In alignment with the Ministry's (PAHI) core values of inclusivity and transparency, the release of Deloitte's report, along with the official release of the National Road Safety Strategy on 10 November 2023, represents a pivotal moment for public discourse.
The Ministry encourages the community to engage, fostering a collaborative environment where every voice contributes to the Safety of our Roads and the evolution of our transportation system.