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Thank you for the increase

October 5, 2013

Dear Sir,

Twenty-five percent is less than the 1/3 increase of gasoline prices, according to Bermuda's CPI, since the last taxi rate change enacted in 2007 and not taking into account the dramatic decrease in tourist arrivals and general economic activity, but it should help to encourage driver availability.

Most people would certainly be surprised at just how much it costs to run a taxi and just how little of the fare, if any, could even remotely be termed disposable income. For example, regular maintenance, wear and tear and occasional accident repair costs are many times more than that of a non-commercial driver, given the amount of time the vehicle is necessarily in use every day for the public.

Fortunately minibus operators have also been allowed on the island for a number of years to provide cheaper transportation services for other Bermudians heavily struggling in these tough economic times, but the rate increase will significantly help to improve the inflow of dollars to Bermuda's economy from tourism.

It would have been great to see GPS become mandatory with a unified system across taxi dispatchers, though. The first dispatcher to get the job would get priority & an available driver at the top of the queue in the closest area would have sole responsibility to assist that person. You can imagine that for a driver to leave a busy location to go the distance for a pickup, it helps to know that the person wouldn't have caught another taxi through another dispatch company, using up gasoline & time in their limited working day that could have been made available for other jobs, including the travel time to return back to the busier waiting location. Of course, this would in no way account for the abundancy of illegal & unregulated “gypsy” taxis on the island or people waving down a passing vehicle after calling for a taxi, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

In addition to this it would be worthwhile to increase the availability of on-call drivers. There are taxi GPS systems that are portable, the size of a cellphone, where a willing driver who has left the vehicle and returned home or is getting something to eat somewhere could still respond to calls for a taxi in the area, where no other driver could respond in a reasonable amount of time, if at all.

It may be much easier to find a driver in the normally quiet area who has left their GPS on-call while off duty to confirm acceptance of a quick hussle and provide a much needed service for people.

Paul Basden

Fair move: Taxis wait for fares on Front Street. (photo by GlennTucker)

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Published October 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 07, 2013 at 9:37 am)

Thank you for the increase

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