Created: Oct 10, 2022 06:58
Industry meeting: Taxi drivers are due to meet on Monday to discuss concerns (file photo)
The Bermuda Taxi Association is calling on its members to come together to help address the issues they face within the industry.
The Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association has invited all of its members to attend a meeting this evening to discuss issues such as raising fares and improving dialogue with the government.
Shari-Lynn Pringle, BTOA Secretary, said: “About 11 years ago, when Prime Minister and Transport Minister Ewart Brown tried to introduce mandatory GPS, taxi owners and operators had the opportunity to get together.
“Instead, they fractured and wasted every opportunity to demonstrate how much control they had over their own industry.
“An opportunity has presented itself once again and we hope all taxi owners and operators will recognize this and unite for the betterment of our industry.
“Government cannot implement a complex concept without first fixing a badly damaged dispatch service and outdated regulations.
“Nor can they wave a magic wand and think anyone can do the job of a taxi operator just because they’ve conceptualized it. They need to listen to our concerns before bulldozing them with an idea that could destroy a legacy of service by many.
“Independent, majority black men and women deserve an audience with the Prime Minister, his ministers and policy makers to offer them the opportunity to fix our foundation without harming Bermuda’s infrastructure – something we have been asking for over ten years old. years.”
The invitation to the meeting, which is to take place at St Paul’s Center for Christian Education in Paget, raises a number of questions for BTOA members.
He says, “How much do you like the taxi industry? How much do you value your taxi license? Is your investment in industry subject to the whim of ideas that the government has not carefully considered with people in industry? What are you prepared to do to save our industry?
Taxi drivers urged the government last month to allow a 20% increase in metered fares.
The BTOA also calls for the surcharge for night work to begin at 9 p.m., rather than midnight.
The association said 600 taxi owners and 4,000 operators have seen no increase in metered fares since May 2014.
These issues, among others such as calls for the establishment of a central digital dispatch across the island, will be discussed at the meeting.