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Govt To Enforce Law On Subleasing License Plates

Transport Minister Renward Wells.

Transport Minister Renward Wells.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TAXI drivers want the government to stop saying it is illegal to sublease licence plates because doing so prompts panicky plate owners to retrieve their plates from lessees.

Transport Minister Renward Wells said on Tuesday that the Minnis administration is gearing up to deal with the long-standing issue of taxi plate leasing, noting it is illegal to lease government issued plates.

“You are supposed to be the individual who either owns the plate or you have yourself a company and so you’re not supposed to be subleasing,” he said. “That law should’ve been enforced, so it is the intention of the government…to enforce it.”

Yesterday, taxi driver Dwayne Darling said when the minister made a similar declaration in May, the owner of the licence plate he was leasing took it from him.

“The people got panicky and antsy and took it back,” he said, saying this caused him hardship. “So now my bus still parked up home without a plate. I’m leasing a whole car now for like $400 a week, which is so difficult, especially at this time a year when no business is around. I had that plate for almost five years.”

Yesterday, Taxi Cab Union head Wesley Ferguson said in view of Mr Wells’ recent comments, he expects a similar problem in the coming days.

“He is going to cause a lot of taxi drivers to be out of work,” he said. “He has alerted the people who are leasing these taxi plates to safeguard themselves by putting those plates on their own cars and putting drivers out of work. This is not what the union wants. The minister was way out of line in making that announcement prior to any attempt by the union to meet him and find out what was going on. Numerous people lost their plates last year when he said the same thing in October. He did it again just before the licensing period in May and as a result of that announcement taxi plates were taken from taxi drivers again.”

Taxi drivers have long complained about the cost of leasing plates and want the government to lift the moratorium on issuance of new plates.

Since the Minnis administration came to office, the government has conducted an audit of taxi plates to show who owns the items. Mr Wells told reporters on Tuesday it is unlikely that audit will be released to the public.

Taxi drivers claim many prominent people own taxi plates. They believe the status quo is maintained because of the prominence of the people who own the plates.

Comments

mandela 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Leasing taxi plates should not be, some persons' have these plates no cars, no drivers and they want to hold on to these plates till thy kingdom come as if they own them and should own them forever, my goodness give some new faces a chance to make their own money,

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Sickened 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Our government is going about this totally in the wrong way (no surprise there). Simply issue plates only to people who have their own car. Make it so an individual can put a plate on hold (say 60 days) until such time that he can prove he owns his own car. This way he can then go to a bank and borrow money to purchase a vehicle with the plate reservation in hand. Taxi drivers will then be their own Independent Business Owner and much better off.

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bobneville 2 weeks, 6 days ago

this problem is not as easy as sickened and others may think to start with ,taxing is a bussines,just like any other,you put your life in it ,your family depend on it to take care of them for as long as they live ,just like alicqure license or a grocery bussiness,it dont go away because the holder gets ill or die,wether you own the car or not ,that is none of the goverment bussiness,beside if you go to the bank or your neighbor,the car is own by the lender un til it is paid for,the plate is issue to you for life,and you should have one or more if you qualify.things dont start to go wrong un til goverment start to get in your bussiness, where and how you get your car is none of the goverment business,as long as you qualify for the plate or license

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Sickened 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Taxing should not be a business for people who don't own a taxi or don't own a taxi company. That is the issue. I understand that many people have received licence plates simply for votes and continue support of a party - this is wrong. These entitled people are getting free money for doing nothing. They never had an intention to drive a taxi they simply rent it out to others. These people are disgusting and greedy and should have enough self respect and morality to return these plates so that persons who actually drive a taxi can earn a living.

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sealice 2 weeks, 6 days ago

But it is illegal - just cus you been doing it doesn't mean it isn't or compel anyone to make it legal....

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