Taxi operators are calling for more taxi stands to be placed across Tortola while others claim to want authorities to increase the number of licence plates allowed per operator.
These were among some the issues voiced at a meeting held with Transportation Minister Kye Rymer on Tuesday, June 18 in Road Town.
One taximan who operates both bus and taxi services said he believes most of the issues plaguing the operators will be resolved if more taxi stands are established across the territory.
“The largest village is in the east and there is not a taxi association there. I think there should be a taxi stand in Long Look and there should be one in East End. It is impossible for you to reach 600-plus taxi drivers with three or four taxi stands. We have more independent taxi drivers which you’re not reaching and some of those are the ones that are making the most violations,” he argued.
“But, if upon receiving your taxi license and the commission issues 100 taxis per stand, it makes life much easier because here it is you have a meeting tonight, you want to reach all the taxi operators but then you cant because some of them need to be still at work. So if you have other taxi stands in different areas and it is mandated to attend the weekly or monthly meetings then information is disseminated way easier and we wouldn’t have all of these problems here,” he added.
Allow us to operate more than two vehicles
Another taxi operator said he believes the law, which limits a taxi driver to owning only two licence plates, is preventing taxi owners from advancing their business.
“My issue is the limit of plates that are being issued for taxi drivers. I had a job from Road Town to Cane Garden Bay. I have two taxis and three people called me to go Cane Garden Bay and it started to rain and then I couldn’t get to Cane Garden Bay. So, right now, I am in need of [another plate] to do Air BnBs going down in those hilly locations but I am only limited to two plates. Is there anything in the making for taxi drivers to get more plates?” the operator asked.
In response, transport minister Rymer promised to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, Director of the Taxi and Livery Commission Dameon Percival explained that the introduction of a livery service was done to evolve the taxi business.
“The livery was put in place to be an extension of a taxi business. It means, you’re a taxi driver, if you are able to make an agreement with a hotel to transport their guests back and forth and you still wanted the independence having your taxi business, you can get a shuttle plate or you can then get a livery business, hire someone to drive the vehicle and then they can operate that one for you,” Percival stated.
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