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Taxi Drivers Ready For Tuesday Protest

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

TAXI drivers say they are gearing up for another protest as the government has failed to address their outstanding concerns.

Wesley Ferguson, president of the Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTU), told Tribune Business: “Nothing has changed, nothing. We haven’t gotten any relief from the government. We are at the end of our licensing period and taxi drivers are facing all kinds of issues.

“There are drivers can’t get their cars inspected. You have persons who are taking taxi plates back from them. There are a number of issues and the government hasn’t done anything for us. We are heading back downtown. We are heading there on Tuesday when they meet for Cabinet. They have turned down the volume on us. They aren’t saying anything to us. We aren’t getting any resolution or answers. Everyone is playing hardball. There has been no relief to our concerns. All we have gotten is more sanctions.”

Mr Ferguson warned earlier this month that hundreds of taxicab drivers could potentially be left jobless at month’s end, claiming that that existing owners of taxi cab plates were exploiting the government’s plan to clean-up the industry by seizing plates back from drivers before this can be put into effect.

Back in January, scores of angry taxi drivers gathered in Rawson Square to protest what they considered poor treatment and working conditions as well as “unfair” competition from tour operators. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis subsequently pledged to address their concerns.

Comments

DDK 1 year, 2 months ago

Errybody gone strike and protest! Only group we don't see is We March Bahamas - guess its leader found greener pastures!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

What did they really expect? Did they believe the FNM Government cared about them? This is a Government that sees to it that the rich gets richer and the poor who cares>??

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Sickened 1 year, 2 months ago

Taxi drivers should be protesting about how many taxi plates are issued and that they have to lease their plates instead of getting their own. That's the real problem.

Also there are 1,000 taxi's all fighting for 600 fares a day (my numbers). Is the problem that tourists/Bahamains aren't taking enough taxi rides, or is it that there are too many taxi's for the amount of business, or is it that the most taxi's are pieces of junk or is it that when tourists do take a taxi from the airport to their hotel they have to tell the driver to slow down and please put down the phone because their terrified they are going to die?

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Dawes 1 year, 2 months ago

It's a catch 22. Taxis dont want to drive Bahamians for safety and it is not as lucrative as the tourist. At the same time most Bahamians won't use Taxis as it is too expensive ($10-20 to go 2 miles is silly) and they don't feel safe. Due to that you have taxi drivers prepared to sit in line at the airport all day in the hope they will get that one ride to Atlantis. If more Bahamians were willing to use taxis (they would have to be cheaper and safe) then there could probably be more taxi drivers.

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Hoda 1 year, 2 months ago

Very true, the prices are ridiculous and clearly they only want to serve white people or those they think have money. Taxi driver said it would be 35 to go to the airport. I was on cable beach in front of Starbucks. I can only imagine what they charging tourist walking out the aiport door.

Taxi drivers and the public should recognize too, Uber and Lyft have redefined North Americansl expectation of transportation. They expect that your car will not be break up, people have safety concerns, if you going to a foreign country its not abnormal to want to have your travel pre- arranged - so in the post Uber world if I'm a American use to Uber showing me who coming to get me, their license plate number, I can comments on the service they gave, I know the price before I hop in, and did not require me to have cash on me.... Is it so crazy that they opt to take the service/ livery/ tour bus that allows them similar comfort/assurance. No

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Sickened 1 year, 2 months ago

A common thieving mechanism used by the taxi drivers is "I don't have any change!". This is immoral and I consider it theft; these drivers should be reported! Nasty people!

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