However, he added that daily use by drivers of private vehicles along the PBR within specified hours, will remain in effect despite the state of emergency, until the expiry of the time allotted for such use.
Thousands of motorists were caught in a massive traffic jam along the Eastern Main Road and the Beetham and Churchill Roosevelt Highways, leading out of Port-of-Spain on Monday evening as people sought to get to their respective destinations before the start of the 9 pm to 5 am curfew in designated crime hot spots.
Maharaj told Newsday that the use of the PBR, outside of the hours in which private vehicles with three or more passengers are allowed use, will be restricted to mass transit vehicles and priority vehicles such as police, fire and ambulances while the limited state of emergency is in effect and will not be opened to the general public at this time.
He added that traffic flow out of Port-of-Spain have been considerably reduced since the opening of the Aranjuez Flyover. Maharaj said reports he received over the last 24 hours suggest the nation’s transport system has been functioning relatively smoothly since the imposition of the state of emergency.
He said officials of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) advised him that it was able to clear all of its platforms at City Gate by 6.30 pm on Monday with the last bus departing at that time.
With respect to sea transport, Maharaj said the inter-island ferry schedule has been amended in light of the limited state of emergency. A release issued by the ministry said these changes are to ensure that persons who wish to travel on the ferries can access and depart the Port-of-Spain terminal outside of curfew hours. Effective yesterday, the TT Express will sail from Scarborough from 4 pm daily from Tuesday to Sunday, except on Wednesdays when it will depart at noon. Due to limited hours of operations, the 1.30 pm sailing of TT Express from Port-of-Spain on Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays has been cancelled. The 10 am sailing of the TT Express from Scarborough will be cancelled on Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays.
The ministry said persons with ferry tickets for the cancelled sailing will be accommodated, as space becomes available on any of the day’s sailings. Sailings of the TT Spirit and the Warrior Spirit will remain as scheduled. Maharaj said adjustments have also been made regarding the sailings of the water taxi from Port-of-Spain to San Fernando and from San Fernando to Port-of- Spain. The earliest sailings of the water taxi from San Fernando to Port-of-Spain are from 6 am and 6.45 am while the last sailing from Port-of-Spain to San Fernando leaves at 5.30 pm.