BVI News

‘Let the port dispatchers do their job’, Taxi & Livery boss defends BVITB

Percival

While defending the actions of the BVI Tourist Board, Director of the Taxi & Livery Commission Dameon Percival said he was the one who called police to the Road Town Ferry Terminal last Friday when a number of visitors were reportedly barred from travelling with livery company vehicles.

Livery companies are claiming that visitors were forced to travel by regular taxi if they did not have documentation to prove they had prepaid to use a livery service.

In an interview with BVI News about the issue, Percival said he opted to call for police assistance after he was informed by the Tourist Board about an incident that happened with irate livery operators at the ferry dock the day prior — May 16.

Percival said he was told the livery operators threatened to return to the location on Friday “in force”.

“I called one of my inspectors and I also then called the police for backup just in case it escalated to a point where I felt it would need police backup because these situations can get very bad,” said Percival, who explained that police intervention was particularly needed because livery company operators are known to assert themselves on to guests.

“The problem comes about when the persons (visitors) come and the [Tourist Board’s] port dispatcher would say ‘do you have prearranged transportation? ‘And the tourist would say ‘no, we want a taxi’. What then happens is that persons for these providers (livery operators) then step out and say ‘no, you are sailing [or staying] with us’. And this is what we are telling them: that is stepping over the bounds. You’re not supposed to do that,” Percival stated.

Let the dispatcher do their job

He continued: “Let the dispatcher do their job. When she sends the people to you then you will be fine and the law from 1993 (Section 21 of the Road Traffic Regulation) speaks to that. Where there is a line system or a dispatcher, they have to comply with the rules of the dispatcher.”

The Director also said companies have been asked on numerous occasions to ensure their guests are issued with a voucher prior to their arrival. The voucher is needed to prove that guests have prepaid for a livery company service.

“The issue is that our law says that the person is supposed to provide a voucher. We at the Commission have met with them (livery companies) and told them the voucher doesn’t necessarily need to be a piece of paper. It could be saying something in your email, something on your phone, just something to that there is an actual official pre-arranged thing,” Percival told BVI News

And while commenting on claims that dispatchers force tourists to use specific transportation, Percival made it clear that, in accordance with the territory’s laws, tourists have the right to decide their transportation of choice.

Meetings to be held to rectify the issues

The Director said once a Chairman is appointed to the Taxi & Livery Commission, meetings will be held with taxi, livery, port, Tourist Board, and police officials to put an end to the long-existing issue.

Percival said he believes the issue may develop into something more serious if it is not addressed soon.

“The last thing I personally would want is any real altercation in front of the guests and based on where tempers are, it seems like it might be heading there,” Percival said.

And with the major Buju Banton concert expected to bring in some 8,000 guests into the territory in the week of June 15, the Director is hoping all matters are resolved in time to ensure a smooth transition for guests through the territory’s ports of entry.

Editor’s Note:

The preceding is the second of a two-part story

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

29 Comments

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  1. EAST says:

    well said

  2. Hah says:

    Exactly, from reading the article yesterday I don’t see why this was ever a problem unless the livery people don’t know or don’t care about the law. You should get a confirmation email or voucher when doing these sort of business which can easily prove the arrangement. Simple solution but nobody care about solving the problem. They want the law broken to suit their desire.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  3. Expat says:

    Hope the issues can be peacefully resolved because as they say ” First Impression is lasting.”
    I am sure this is not the image we want to portray of the BVI.

    Like 11
    • Francine says:

      That is so true. My mom when on a cruise that made a stop in Guadeloupe some years ago and the taxi men were behaving like those on the water front on Friday and she still talks about that and said she will never go back there. Whenever we are organizing cruises she reminds us not to book one with a stop there.

  4. sam the man says:

    It’s really not difficult – if tourists that arrive after spending many dollars aren’t received with respect, courtesy, smooth transit to their destination then they won’t return – come on BVI tourism sort it out asap…

    Like 12
  5. 1000 jobs says:

    Wha dis big NDP still doing deh?

    Like 3
    Dislike 17
    • Hmmmm says:

      Where should he be? He is at home?

      Like 10
    • Nonsense says:

      This is not Antigua. That dude is at home and should be working if he so desire. Stop encouraging nonsense. The BVI died not belong to NDP or VIP.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
    • Well says:

      I never. What does this have to do with anything? This place is too small for this type of thinking and nonsense. You all stop encouraging wrong. Be the change you wish to see

  6. Roy says:

    Dont worry livery owners, **e has assured me Percival is out, he is removing him very soon so we will be ok.

    Like 3
    Dislike 14
  7. rude & retarded says:

    IS THIS HOW YOU GROW THE TOURISM BUSINESS! IDIOTS!

    Like 11
  8. Order says:

    That S*******n guy wants to own everywhere. When Hodges creek is functioning he is there with the same behaviour and talking about he has bank to pay – because he is the only bank customer.

  9. on looker says:

    taxi men only care about money not helping or educating the guest.when u ask a tourist if they a taxi the get to there destination they would say yes because they don’t have friends or family picking them up.Taxi and livery is the same for them (all buses is taxi for them)but we here know the difference.Ask them if the want a taxi or a shuttle and see what they say.

  10. take look says:

    http://crew-center.com/tortola-bvi-cruise-ship-schedule-2019 look at dates and see why we have this proplem

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. Retired says:

    This confrontation between taxi drivers and shuttle bus drivers at the RT ferry dock presents a very poor image to tourists arriving to the BVI. Imagine traveling for many hours by air and sea, passing through BVI Customs & Immigration and then being harassed by various drivers for the last few miles to your hotel or yacht on Tortola.

    Like 12
    • Totaly True says:

      I visit from the West Coast. I have to take a 5hr flight from LAX to New York JFK because there is no direct flight from LAX to Tortola. Then I have to take a 4hr flight to ST.Thomas from JFK.Then I have to take a ferry over to Tortola and hope my documents are in order when I get to customs. All I want to do after traveling so many hours by air and sea is to get to my hotel and relax. I don’t want or care to deal with fueding cab drivers.

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
  12. u c says:

    none of these companies want to work with the taxi men because when you give then a job they booked your people up for them to transport that’s not working together that’s stealing the next man work

  13. Percival says:

    Why all of a sudden you in the news Mark give you this job they need to take you and put you by the garbage to work.

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
  14. Sam says:

    So I visit BVI and when I arrive you trade me like a piece of meet to make money out of me and you even have a law on the subject !. You really do have a f up country and have no idea of the irony of this situation .

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  15. Dispatchers fault says:

    This is wrong- first off customers going to sunsail / moorings get their taxi paid for so straight off the question is not do you have a taxi booked but where are you going?? The dispatcher then knows where to send the guests. The reason that the sailing companies and hotels use specific companies and drivers is so they can guarantee the service the customers will get, the drivers will know the routines ie some get shown directly to their boat if after hours and the drivers give a mini brief where stuff is for the night. If your guests are turning up in drip and draps with any old taxi driver there is always problems with service and over charging.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  16. Follow the Law Moorings and Sunsail says:

    Nothing is wrong with the moorings etc using a specific driver. The LAW says you MUST HAVE A VOUCHER.

  17. tell me says:

    so why there’s not a problem when the tourist leaving same livery takes them to the port

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