BVI News

Survey reveals concern that proposed bus system will affect taximen, Ministry allays fear

While most of the 1,350 residents who have completed the public transportation survey are in support of the service, concerns are being raised about the potential revenue loss to existing taxi operators.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Haley Trott has, however, said there is no need for concern.

“It is not going to be a government-run and operated bus service, so any taxi driver can say: ‘I am interested in this route, and I am willing to put my bid out and being responsible for covering this particular route’,” Trott said in an interview with BVI News on Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, the main purpose is to move people around and we are trying to get out of the days of hitchhiking and [into a system where residents] can rely on reliable bus service. So we don’t see that we would be taking bread out of the mouth of any taxi driver. There would still be that demand, and there will also be the opportunity for them to bid on routes,” she added.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary further said any decision being made will be done in conjunction with the public. She further said a meeting with the stakeholders in the local transportation-for-hire sector is on the horizon.

Most people support it

In the meantime, most persons are in support of the proposed system, Trott said.

“The general public is looking forward to it. They are very receptive, and they see the need. I think this is so because we are now able to attack Jost Van Dyke and Anegada and while the bus service is not likely to be implemented on any of those islands soon. What we realize is there are a lot of commuters, especially from Jost Van Dyke who come over. They get into West End, and they are catching rides to get to town,” Trott explained.

She said the ministry will, therefore, be seeking more feedback from residents of the sister islands. She told BVI News an official report will be drafted afterwards.

Survey launched in June

Since the survey’s launch in June, roughly 850 took the online survey while 500 were manually surveyed, Trott said.

According to Permanent Secretary in the said ministry, Jeremy Hodge, government’s objective is to reduce the congestion in the capital and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

Hodge said there would also be opportunities for partnerships between the Government and the private sector to construct bus stops.

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49 Comments

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  1. Well Then says:

    The taxi drivers will have to figure out another source of income. Bus service is much needed on the Island.Let people have the option to take a bus or taxi. This is not going anywhere as far as I am concern.And Yeah, taxi drivers, stop being so damn greedy.

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    • Ha says:

      Unfortunately the mentality that we should not have a bus service because it will reduce the income of taxi drivers is the root of many of the problems in the BVI.
      The taxi drivers can become bus drivers if there is not enough taxi work – this might mean a bit more driving, and a bit less sitting playing dominos but it is not such a bad thing.
      There are numerous other businesses in the BVi that need to be shaken up with some competition. Why was RTW stopped from selling kitchen appliances and office chairs – because it was selling them at a fraction of the price of other rip off businesses.
      The new consumer protection act needs to recognize that competition breads better service and better prices. If somebody wants to enter an existing business area by offering a better service and a better price – we should encourage them and not try to protect inefficient rip off businesses.

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      • @Ha says:

        You will say that until you as a local small business owner start your business and another business with $2 billion in capital starts up right next to you and sell stuff at half your prices. Keep on keeping on! Competition you say? How has that worked in St Thomas? Those big named stores have turned the USVI into a master shit hole where the locals have to flee to the mainland to find business and employment opportunities. Stop drinking the kool aid and wake up! Yes competition is good to an extent but we are a very small and unique market so what may work in a place with 5mil people, will not work here. What you need to ask yourself is why RTW is selling the office stuff dirt cheap but the food staples sky high? Can you eat a rolling chair or metal desk? Nonsense!

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    • hmmm12 says:

      As I stated earlier its some of them everyday job i dont see it to be greedy….I guess when you asking your boss for a raise that aint being greedy??? your response will be no right. Well just to en-light gas aint free nor part aint cheap to repair… But my suggestion to you, I think you need to invest a ride so i wouldnt have to be worrying about greedy taxi man/woman …..

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  2. Online Now says:

    About time there was a proper alternative to the extortionate taxi fares! The only people concerned about the taxi men are the taxi men and their families!

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  3. yesproblem says:

    Wait for Uber…then the taximan will squeal

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    • Oh for sure says:

      Uber comes to the BVI, you greedy taxi drivers is toast. There is no way Uber would charge me 30.00 from Zion Hill to Albion.

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  4. hit the nail on the head says:

    Yes the fears are real to the taxi men, however, Government needs to go ahead with the proposed plan as THERE IS NO SCHEDULED SERVICE IN THE BVI, and some of the patrons need affordable transport !!!

    Also, some of the stores at the shopping centers ARE NOT receiving as much patrons as they should because of unreliable transportation or unscheduled service.

    Also patrons who go to work for 6AM and 7AM and return from evening shifts (8AM) need reliable service to get to and from work, especially, those who live on one end of the island and go to the other end; and some still have to catch a boat as well.

    Therefore, taxi men, it is not about you alone. The number of patrons that need scheduled service are more than the approximate 600 taxi men licensed to drive.

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  5. The Truth says:

    The same taxi men that when you ask them to take you somewhere, they tired from cruise ship runs? Give me a break.

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  6. What!!!! says:

    Taxi drivers only concerned about themselves as usual they charge us too much we need a cheap bus service

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    • hmmmm9 says:

      People fail to realize that’s some of them every day job like the one you have.. So I dont see the issue!!!!! Secondly I think when u get in a taxi bus and you state ur destination you should ask to see the government price list.

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    • hmmm12 says:

      Charging too much I see… When some of you guys goes to A Gucci store to purchase they two hundred slipper you dont be complaining about the price but to catch a taxi to go from point A to B is a problem!!!!!!

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  7. Dman says:

    Great plan, especially for before and after work hours, needed for decades, don’t drop the ball, build some inexpensive shelters at stops for bad weather.

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  8. Retired says:

    For over 50 years all the islands of the Eastern Caribbean have efficient bus services that peacefully complement each island’s taxis service. The BVI can easily do the same.

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    • @Retired says:

      So correct, you know, the Politians is going to let the taxi drivers get away with the BS. Some of these people in charge don’t have the backbone to do what is right. Something as simple as getting a bus service up and running is a problem and doubt because of some unprofessional, nasty greedy taxi drivers is B***hing about they are going to loose money. Big deal, let them go farm/fish to make extra money or sit on the dock and wait for the golden tourist dollar.

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  9. You taxi drivers says:

    GIVE us your A** to kiss when the cruise ship is in port. I went to the supermarket on a day when a ship was in port, and every taxi I hail refuse to take me home.My son in law had to leave his job to take me home. If there was public transportation or UBER all you have to do is hop on the bus or call a UBER. I think the Politians is going to cave into the greedy taxi drivers. This place take 1 step forward for betterment, then they drop back 20 steps.

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    • hmmm12 says:

      Please note all taxi man doesn’t goes to the ship. Have you ever think about calling 4942322 for a taxi before making a statement like that. I doubt!!!

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  10. oh mannn says:

    I think it is a great idea….my problem with the taxi drivers is that they will be going in your direction with an empty bus and will not take the $3.00 you giving them…that does not make any sense… too Greedy mann

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    • hmmm12 says:

      I dont see it as being greedy!!!! Would you accept 3 dollar from your current job???? No I dont think so

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      • Annoyed says:

        Listen you under every comment. These taximen don’t pick up locals. In the rare occasion that they do they rushing you (to go to the cruise ship) or telling you they can’t wait because that’s time and money like your money isn’t green too. As far as I can see they don’t study locals so a bus service shouldn’t bother them. They can stick to their cruise ship runs and locals don’t have to bother them. Win win.

        • hmmm12 says:

          Yes I am cause not all taxi man goes to the ship as i stated earlier have you guys thought about calling the taxi stands for a taxi?? I figured not!!!

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          • Online Now says:

            How much is a taxi for a person from Road Town to Cane Garden and back – not a tourist, just a regular person? ($48?) Answer that and you will see why there is a cry for a regular bus.

          • hmmm12 says:

            Well my dear friend @Online Now yes the price to go and come back is 48!!!! But my thought you ever think about gas for that taxi vehicle to go and come back??? you ever thought about the hill that vehicle have to go up??? I dont think so but as i stated earlier the taxi man only going off the government price list so therefore if you have a problem with the price you should go to them and complain,or catch a taxi down and a ride back or invest in a vehicle… P.S Taxi man have bills to pay too just to let you know….

          • Online Now says:

            I have a car thanks. I was just illustrating the need for a bus service and your arrogant reply only shows how protected taxi drivers have been by the absence of basic services such as decent bus routes.

  11. Confucius says:

    God forbid you should need a taxi from West End to the airport for one person on a cruise ship day. Good luck to you! The unreliable taxi service is one of the major reasons people from West use the airport on St. Thomas.

    Bus service is a MUST! I hope government comes through with this plan.

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  12. Change says:

    No matter how you look at it, doesnt matter which direction the change is in. You will always have those who are against it. The bvi system is springing leaks left right and center without any true solution. As long as we keep trying to keep everybody happy, we will have problems.

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  13. No Uber says:

    Most of you who are talking about Uber being an option don’t know at all how it works. An Uber ride will cost more than $5 for the shortest distances compared to $3 for a full ride from town to East End on the current buses. Especially in a slow market like the BVI, their prices will be similar to the expensive Taxi operators. Even if it’s a shared ride. And the BVI does not have proper addressing systems to accommodate the use of Uber or Lyft.

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  14. a says:

    please all over the world countries have public and private services including taxis and run fine. struppes. taxi men to greedy and rude

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  15. Won't suprise me says:

    If they start charging a toll fee to go and come over the Beef Island Bridge. They will be quick to do that rather than getting a bus service system up and running.

  16. Forward Ever/Backward never says:

    Omg. Everything that other developing nations have, we can’t have it in Tortola because it’s going to affect somebody. With this attitude we will be full speed on the move going backwards. I hope that government don’t let these individualists determine the future of this territory.

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  17. we already have bus service says:

    we need designated and enforced bus stops. those 2 or 3 dollar buss needs to fall under a union or organization. stop making thing hard

    • Concerned says:

      You are correct, Taxi’s stop anywhere on the highway to let out people which is an accident waiting to happen. so maybe a bus stop across from One-Mart might help. Buses need designated bus stops to for example do away with the mess right past the roundabout going east.

  18. T*xi Driver says:

    Strupes, these people taking the bread out of our mouths. What about our protected right to operate the system?

    At the very least the bus service must be restricted to belongers and residents, and cruise ship passengers must be banned from the buses. Otherwise our very livelihoods and those of our children will be gone.

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    • Please says:

      How can you ban anyone from using a public bus? That will certainly have the cruise lines at odds with the BVI

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    • @T*xi Driver says:

      Just reading your blog makes me embarass. Just what the H*ll world are you living in. So you are saying to ban cruisers from taking public transportation and force them to take a Taxi. The FEDS will be all over like White on rice and the Cruise Industry will cancel the BVI route for sure.

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    • @ taxi driver says:

      That mentality is what have the place in a backward state. You can only have protectionism laws for so long. At some point in time you need to get your act together and compete. Why not think that taxi men can also provide bus services along with the cruise ship passenger run. This is an opportunity to expand your service. Where in the world do they ban tourist from using public transport system!

    • Forward Ever/Backward never says:

      @t*xi Driver
      I guess you have never been no further than the four corners of Tortola. If you did you would not have blogged this stupidity. I have traveled all over the world and has never been banned from taking public transportation. Sorry whoever you are, but you are very limited in your scope of how the world works. Well you can see from all the dislikes you got. No one agree with your nonsense.

  19. Please says:

    I hope these people know you cant bring bags of groceries or luggage on the bus. if so get a taxi.

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    • @ please says:

      You need to travel and see more of the world. You can board a bus in London with your suitcase and groceries. Why can it not be done here as well. Pure greed!

  20. Local says:

    The taximen rarely pick up locals then try to charge them as they would the tourists. I was pregnant and asked a taximan to drop me j n c. He told me I was lucky I met him because the others wouldn’t have taken me because the ship was in and they definitely wouldn’t have waited as he did. They fully well know they don’t cater to locals. So the bus service shouldn’t affect them. Taxi for tourists, bus service for locals.

  21. @Please says:

    Yes you can if you have tote bags or a small piece of luggage.Also, some bus have a bike rack at the very front of the bus that can carry two bicycle.

  22. smh... says:

    i am all for the bus service. It will definitely help with the congestion in town. I am not sure why “Please” said they cannot bring groceries on the bus. So if I am at Rtw with three bags of groceries you are saying I should wait 30 mins for a taxi and pay $40 or however much they feel to charge to go East End? I dont see buses anywhere else refusing passengers with groceries.

    I hope the government goes through with it. If the taxi men are concerned, as stated, let them apply for a job as a driver or stick to dominoes and cruise passengers.

  23. hit the nail on the head says:

    The public bus system is working perfectly fine when I was in Bermuda in the summer of 2009. The Government there was forced to take it over from the private sector. The situation had become so bad where passengers were waiting for hours at bus stops on holidays, especially on “CUP MATCH” days which is a two day holiday at the end of July. Both services work simultaneously – the government sponsored public bus system and private taxi services.

    In the other Caribbean islands, also in St. Thomas, all three services operate – government sponsored bus system, private buses, and private taxi services.

    It is time for BVI taxi men to accept the inevitable, re-evaluate their revenue strategy, and make adjustments as there are too many negative blogs against them regarding unavailability on cruise ship days.

    Therefore, we the people including the voters are waiting on Government to put in the reliable public transit system in!

  24. Driver says:

    There are drivers that run from east to town and back for a living. Why is Mr R**** and his i*-l** trying to get the service for themselves? People open your eyes. He is willing to put the 30 drivers that do this daily for a living to find some other way to feed their family and pay for their homes. This service will kill our drivers that do it for a living. Why don’t they have a service to cane garden bay. They are all after the people that are coming from the eastern end of the island. They are not honest about what their real plans are.

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  25. DEAR TAXI MAN says:

    I need join in this elite group of ppl.. They are much more powerful than we think..

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