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Taxi driver disagrees with colleagues who knocked new Dockyard layout

A taxi driver has hit back at colleagues who claim that a new road layout at Dockyard is hampering their ability to serve customers.The Royal Gazette reported concerns from a number of drivers who claimed that the new system made passenger pick-ups less efficient.Norwegian Breakaway begins service to Bermuda on May 15,” a Government spokesman said.

Planners have redesigned the road network at the site, forcing cab drivers to park up in waiting zones several hundred yards from King's Wharf, where cruise ship passengers disembark for excursions across the Island.

Transport Control Department officials then call taxis over when they are required and guide visitors into each cab. Previously, drivers were allowed to line up alongside cruise ships on the wharf. Yesterday

But one driver has disagreed, saying the new system is now far more orderly and fair.

And the cabbie, who did not wish to be named, said TCD officials did an excellent job of stewarding the cabs and making sure both vehicles and drivers were presentable.

The driver added that up to four cabs can pick up passengers at any time, while others wait in a holding zone. Once passengers have boarded those cars, more taxis from the holding zone are called forward.

“This new system is nothing different to what they have at the airport or at the hotels,” the driver said.

“It's so much more orderly now and the TCD officers do a great job of regulating everything. Before, drivers were trying to undercut each other in front of the passengers. And they would wait and wait until their cab was full before heading off. So if you had one couple who wanted a cab, they had to wait around and ended up sharing with strangers just so that the driver could get a bigger fare.

“Under the old system we used to park up alongside the ferry, but since 9/11 you just can't to that any more — it's a breach of international security codes.”

But Lee Tucker of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association said he understood why some drivers were angered by the new set-up, claiming that they had not been consulted.

And he said unhappy drivers who may have had to wait several hours for a fare could end up avoiding the west end — which could cause major problems when the full cruise ship season gets underway next month.

“Government said it consulted with the taxi dispatchers, but they're not the ones on the ground,” Mr Tucker said.

“I think the problem is a lot of the guys down there didn't know this was happening and that's what's caused the problem. The thing is, if some of them now decide to stay away, that's going to create an even bigger problem next month.”

Mr Tucker said the association was hoping to meet with transport chiefs shortly in order to discuss the layout and have some of the concerns addressed.

Government said it introduced the new system in an effort to streamline traffic flow ahead of the new cruise ship season, which gets underway next month, when thousands of visitors a week are expected to arrive at Dockyard.

“The new system is necessary due to the increased number of passengers anticipated when the

“The new system is intended to provide better organisation for all modes of transport originating from the cruise ships. 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.”

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Published April 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 20, 2013 at 12:00 am)

Taxi driver disagrees with colleagues who knocked new Dockyard layout

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