*File photo
*File photo

Taxi owners have not had a fare increase since 2006. The industry was promised one last year, but still haven’t received it.

Derek Young, Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association president, said: “We have been very patient going about and doing our business. We met with the minister of transportation back in September 2013 and laid out all our plans. 

“The minister guaranteed us that those plans will be taken to parliament in February and implemented soon after, once passed through the House and Senate. 

“Among our proposals are a metred rate increase, ability to take up to seven people in the cab for an extra charge, adjustment in the chartered tour rate and moving the license and insurance period to a time more convenient than it presently is.”

Concerned

Mr Young said there has been rumblings within the industry “but we remain concerned although we’re very optimistic. Presently we’re trying our best to please the travelling public that use our services and not get too involved with the politics side of the business. We trust the minister will come through for us. 

“Our last rate increase was 2006, so this implementation will only somewhat assist us in living a better life and will allow us to pay some bills. 

“Maintenance alone on a taxi is extraordinary.”

Mr Young said the taxi operators and owners were looking forward to legislation being laid on restrictions, rules and regulations for minibuses.

He said: “We are all in the transportation business so we should all have rules and guidelines to go by.”

Mr Young said a new concern for 2014 is the use of second-hand vehicles. 

“We would like to be able to bring in second-hand vehicles for taxi use, instead of being forced to buy a brand new vehicle, when our old one fails. 

Taxi Authority

“We all are in hard times and we should be allowed to use our own discretion when purchasing vehicles  and running our business.  

“We also need to have fair competition across the board in transportation and most of all we want to see the government allow a taxi authority to be set up so that we can run and direct our own industry.”

He said it remains the taxi industry’s main goals to “provide great customer service to the public along with reliable and dependable transportation. We are not perfect but we always look to get it right. 

“We talk about issues and complaints that we get and are always seeking improvements to the business.”