‘How many taxi plates have been issued?’

Transport and Housing Minister JoBeth Coleby-Davis and former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Transport and Housing Minister JoBeth Coleby-Davis and former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.


Tribune Chief Reporter


FORMER Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has urged Transport and Housing Minister JoBeth Coleby-Davis to disclose the number of taxi plates that have been issued, amid accusations that the law has not been followed regarding the issuing process.

Dr Minnis spoke on the issue the day after Bahamas Taxi Cab Union president Wesley Ferguson said union members were still awaiting correspondence from the Ministry of Transport and Housing on the issue of regulating taxi plates.

After several months of seeking to meet with Mrs Coleby-Davis on the issue of increased taxi drivers in an oversaturated market, Mr Ferguson said all he has now is a lot of complaints, but no response from the ministry.

In an interview yesterday, the former Prime Minister asserted that from his understanding there has been no gazetting of the candidates and the process is not being respected.

“I see the taxi union complaining that they can’t get a meeting with the minister and the minister has issued so many plates that it’s having a negative impact on the taxi business,” Dr Minnis told The Tribune.

 “But this minister has been a problem from day one and she’s been allowed to get away with that. No minister should be allowed to get away with that.

 “The Prime Minister needs to take control and reign in this minister and take leadership of his party. He must demonstrate complete leadership.

 “She has issued, from what I understand now, over 700 taxi plates, violating the law,” Dr Minnis alleged.

 “The law is straight. The Transportation Act is straight. It must be gazetted and then there must be a waiting time. You wait for individuals to respond and whatever else. It’s in the law. She has not followed that policy,” he claimed.

 He insisted that the taxi union has a right to level criticisms, adding, “What they are saying is correct, she has flooded the market with plates.”

 Earlier this week, Mr Ferguson claimed that the minister had gone silent in response to numerous attempts to reach her.

 “So far, the taxi union has not heard from the minister in spite of our numerous attempts to meet with her. Emails, telephone calls went to the office and there’s no meeting. So the minister basically has just gone quiet,” Mr Ferguson said at the time.

 “We are basically in the same position we were in when we began, nowhere. The minister is now MIA, missing in action, can’t see her anywhere other than on TV, giving out keys for new houses,” he said.

 “We are waiting for an opportune time and I will bring every taxi driver downtown who got those taxi plates to present them back to Parliament, because they have no use for them,” Mr Ferguson said.

 “She (Mrs Coleby-Davis), like I guess the rest of the MPs, believe that if you ignore a situation it will go away. Because everyone is getting their payments right now so we don’t want to come in the midst of that,” he said.

 Mr Ferguson added, “All we have now is a bunch of complaints from taxi drivers now that they are now making no money because the parade that they would have indicated that we would have had for Thanksgiving, it never happened.

 “Thanksgiving was a fizzle event. Nothing happened and Christmas promises to be the same, because there are too many taxi plates out there and the taxi drivers are not making a fair share to take home to their families, because of the massive or reckless increase in taxi plates that were given out by this government,” Mr Ferguson said.

 Mrs Colbey-Davis did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.


GodSpeed 3 months, 3 weeks ago

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JokeyJack 3 months, 3 weeks ago

What a shame former Prime Minister Minnis did not put in place the Freedom of Information Act while he was in power. Now, as an ordinary Bahamian - like the rest of us - he would be able to benefit from that Act and obtain the information he seeks.

What goes around comes around.

Wait another five years sir and when you become a dictator again then you can get the info. In the Bahamas we have "elected" dictators. There is no democracy here.

No Freedom of Information Act. No freedom. No information.


Sickened 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A PLP politician not following the rules and laws in place??? Say it isn't so. LOL no one can deny that this government has broken so many laws already. If they want to change the laws to suit their greedy ambitions then change the law and see what the Bahamian people say about it.


sheeprunner12 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Taxis in Nassau are ineffective and inefficient ........... Nassau needs a serious overhaul of its public transportation system and a serious shift in how its population is moved from point A to point B 24/7.

Dependency on private vehicles has created serious transportation challenges in the Caribbean's most densely populated city due to political and personal choices over the past 50 years.


Sickened 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Overhaul is never going to happen. You know how many people make side money on this scam?


sheeprunner12 3 months, 3 weeks ago

You have a point ................. hard to admit it, but you are right.


SP 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Another big question is who were the taxi plates issued to? According to the grapevine, the majority of plates were given to Haitians.


birdiestrachan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Did Mr Ferguson go to the doc...? The doc is useless he has now become the !no come back, kid finished , he was meaner than the grave putting barriers in a public road it can also be said that those who have the new plates have to live also


BONEFISH 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The minister should answer the questions about how many taxi plates are issued.Also the rationale about why so many were issued. Taxi plates seem to given out as political patronage.

The island of New Providence needs a sensible full managed public transportation system.There are too many private vehicles on this island. If the road project was not undertaken by the last Ingraham administration,traffic would be far worse on this island. Tiny Bermuda has well -organized public transportation system from the forties New Providence should have had one from the fifties.


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