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Taxi plate leasing may end

photo

Anthony Newbold

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Minnis administration is eying regulations to manage the issuance of taxi plates, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold said yesterday, adding the government is also considering ending the controversial practice of leasing the plates.

Cabinet, he said, has “requested an audit of the taxi plates issued and their activity status.”

“The need to take the hustle out of taxi services is noted. There may be a need to issue new taxi plates in select Family Islands. Government is also looking at doing away with leasing taxi plates,” he said during his weekly media briefing. 

The taxi cab industry has long been frustrated by various issues. 

In May the Minnis administration announced in its Speech from the Throne that it would “review and give consideration to the ownership of taxi licence plates by persons who have been leasing those plates for many years.”

Philip Watkins, president of the Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTU), reacted previously saying: “The issue of taxi franchises has come up election after election. That statement is nothing new for us.

“You have persons right now managing plates which are owned by retirees,” he said.

“In some instances, the husband may have died and transferred the ownership of the plate to his wife, who is receiving those funds to supplement her pension. Sometimes maintaining a vehicle can prove to be a challenge, and because people find they could end up getting less money, they just let someone use their plate and get paid something every month.

“To what extent the government is proposing to regularise the taxi plates, I have no idea. If the union can be any assistance to them regularising the industry, we would be more than happy to do so.”

Mr Watkins said a moratorium on the issuance of taxi cab plates has been in existence for the past 20 years.

“Of the 1,135 plates issued for New Providence there are at least 200 not in the system for whatever reason,” he added.

“They are not on the road, and some may have been removed for whatever reason.

 “The government needs to look at the Road Traffic Department, clear up the plates not operational and, if they see fit, to issue new plates. That’s their prerogative, but they should look at cleaning up the system.

“I wouldn’t advise them to go issue new plates because between one and 1,135, there are 200 or more plates that are in the system and haven’t been on the road in 15 years or more. They should bring them out, let’s start with them, and then we go from there.”

Comments

Sickened 5 years, 3 months ago

Thank Jesus they are doing away with this license shit! Next is the jitney license as they are actually the bigger nuisance.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 3 months ago

I am informed that at no time has it ever been legal for the holder of a taxi plate duly issued by government to lease or otherwise transfer the holding of it to another person. The same applies to Jitney plates. If this is indeed true, then Cabinet and the Press Secretary should correct the record rather than continue to spew nonsense. The existing laws should be enforced which may mean that many taxi plates currently issued are unlawfully held by a person other than the original lawful holder.

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gbgal 5 years, 3 months ago

In my opinion, there are too many plates overall, making it difficult for all of them to make a living. The fellas end up fighting on the docks and airport in front of the tourists and making us all look like monkeys! Now is the time to review the whole system of transportation and make changes for the better. Soon there will be a Uber-style system working here anyhow...then what?

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bogart 5 years, 3 months ago

There would be the correct number of plates franchise in service if the rules if the franchise were followed. A franchise plare is given to who knows how the rules are to receive one but assumed to go to some political connected. This playe is to be used by the beneficiary and handed back or taken back upon death or default. However they remain and are rented out to someone else who ptovides the vehicle and a tent is charged. All officials who allow this to happen should be reprimanded for this as no govt should have the right to give a franchise in perpetuity after death or incapacity of the original recipient.

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BONEFISH 5 years, 3 months ago

The ground transportation system on New Providence needs to be completely overhauled.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 3 months ago

Agreed ........... why are taxis not easily recognizable in Nassau ..... like New York?????? ......... The taxi system is a mess like the public bus system ...... This is how private enterprise should not function to fulfil a vital public service.

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Socrates 5 years, 3 months ago

if you dont intend to operate a taxi service, you do not need a plate.. what rubbish, i get the plate just to sublet it to someone and take a fee? sheeprunner is right, the taxi business is a national embarrassment.. no standard look, no standard of equipment, etc. needs to be totally destroyed and start over...

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