Taxi drivers have been calling for an increase in fares for some time. A press conference was held on Thursday where it was announced that the increase in fares has been approved by the Government.
President of the Taxi Cab Union Wesley Ferguson told reporters, “we didn’t anticipate that the tourist arrivals would have rebounded so aggressively, but now it has surprised even us in the taxi industry. So taxi drivers, with the new increase now, taxi drivers will take home a good week’s pay for a honest day work.”
According to the Minister of Transport and Housing, the Hon. Jobeth Coleby-Davis, who was also at the press conference, before the increase takes effect it must be gazetted. “Draft is being created now, it goes to the Attorney General’s Office once they sign off and prove it then we’ll have it gazetted and bring into effect those fares. And so like I said we’re hoping to have that early summer and it shouldn’t take that long,” Coleby-Davis said.
An app has been created for customers to rate their taxi experience in The Bahamas called Rate Your Ride. Of the app, Coleby-Davis said,”…and that’s gonna help to survey and rate our taxi drivers but it’ll also help to manage the fares that people are being charged because the app would have indication embedded in them on what the rate should be or an idea or closely related to what is should be. And so the app is gonna help and then the fare increase but also there’s a code of conduct.”
Also weighing in on the increase in fares was President of the Bahamas Hotel Tourism Association Robert ‘Sandy’ Sands. He said, “a significant amount of the tourists that come to this country, over two thirds of them, would use transportation services at one point or another. And we have had more than our share of dissatisfied customers in this area over a period of time. So the initiatives that have been announced today, as a result of discussions, are going go a long way to reducing those levels of dissatisfaction.”