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Taxi drivers fed up with new road network at Dockyard

Changes to the road network at Dockyard have left irate taxi drivers claiming they are no longer able to provide a quality service to Island visitors.

Previously, taxis were able to queue up at King’s Wharf alongside a berthed liner, enabling cruise ship passengers to leave their ship and immediately get into a waiting cab.

But planners have now redesigned the layout of the popular west end site, forcing drivers to park up hundreds of yards away from passenger disembarkation points in designated zones. A team of Transport Control Department officials then call the cabs over a few at a time to a second waiting zone — alongside tour taxis and minibuses — before telling tourists which cabs to take.

Taxi drivers say the system is detrimental to both themselves and their customers — and was implemented without consultation with the industry.

“The old system was convenient for our visitors and it worked just fine — we have no idea why TCD changed it,” one driver told

The Royal Gazette.

“The new system has been a disaster from the get-go,” the driver said, adding that he had heard TCD supervisors complaining that vacationers had been “spoilt” under the old system.

“They go on to talk about international standards and what they do in other countries, but we are not other countries, and we want to spoil our tourists — that’s what its all about — that’s why Bermuda is special,” the driver said.

Another cabbie said that he saw one elderly visitor walk several hundred yards from the dock to the line of waiting cabs — and then collapsed from exhaustion.

“The drivers had to help her up,” the cabbie said.

“Visitors don’t know where the tour taxis are located. There are no signs explaining what the zones are all about. The whole thing is so crazy and in fact makes things far more confusing for our visitors.

“It’s a total crap shoot for them now — in fact it is chaos down there. All the drivers are totally annoyed with the situation.

“There was nothing wrong with the old system that we have used at King’s Point for years. It worked very efficiently — drivers were able to interact with our visitors, and visitors were able to get a taxi close to the ship.

“Also, visitors were able to talk to the tour drivers before deciding whom they wanted to tour with. We have no idea why all this was changed. It makes no sense at all to us.”

Last night a spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism and Transport said that the new layout had been devised “to provide a safer and more logical system for cruise ship passengers”.

“The new system is intended to provide better organisation for all modes of transport, including public buses and ferries, taxis, minibuses and bus and taxi tours originating from the cruise ships,” the spokesman said, adding that input has been received from the Minibus Association and taxi dispatching companies.

“The new system is also intended to reduce vehicle congestion at King’s Wharf and better manage traffic in the Ground Transportation Area, where buses, taxis and minibuses operate from.”

According to Government, the redesign will take place over two phases, and will not be up-and-running fully until repairs to Heritage Wharf have been completed next month.

“Both phases have a number of important elements intended to better organise pedestrian and vehicle movement and make for a safer operation,” the spokesman said.

“Transportation providers and the general public are asked to have patience during this initial phase, and further information will be shared with those in the transportation community once operating experience is gained and once the Ground Transportation reopens.”

Busy: Taxi drivers fear the new road network at Dockyard will not allow them to give tourists a high-quality service

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Published April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 19, 2013 at 12:53 am)

Taxi drivers fed up with new road network at Dockyard

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