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Taxi driver tirade under investigation

An abusive tirade by a taxi driver is being investigated, with the man allegedly forcing two female passengers out of his cab after demanding that they pay for his gasoline.

The incident late on Saturday night has been referred to Police and the Ministry of Transport by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, which stressed that the encounter, which left the women “bewildered”, was “in no way indicative of the hospitable experience Bermuda is known for”.

A letter to The Royal Gazette from David Yuhasz, of Toronto, Canada, described how his visiting wife and her local friend were left shaken when the man swore and ordered them out.

The two had hailed a cab shortly after midnight after enjoying a Saturday night out at Lido by Elbow Beach.

However, as the vehicle drew near to the main road, the driver halted, said he was out of gas, and told the women they would have to use their credit cards to pay for fuel.

After insisting twice and being refused, the driver subjected them to foul language, got out of the vehicle and “slammed the sliding door open and demanded that they get the f*** out of the cab”, Mr Yuhasz said.

His wife's friend contacted the Police, who requested the driver's licence number.

Mr Yuhasz, who has lived and worked on the Island for 15 years, said he believed taxi drivers were true ambassadors of Bermuda, emphasising that he had used the Island's taxis hundreds of times without incident.

He believed the man at the wheel had not been the regular taxi driver but had borrowed it, and attempted to intimidate the pair into complying with a scam.

Yesterday, Pat Phillip-Fairn of the BTA apologised to the family and assured them that with the details provided, which included the licence number T1756, the matter would be looked into.

The complaint came as Ben Smith, the husband of the local woman berated by the driver, also wrote to this newspaper to describe a separate incident from last month in which the couple had called for a taxi to celebrate his birthday.

Mr Smith said a surly, irritable driver had looked up his name on the taxi's GPS system and stared at him in the rear-view mirror after he objected to the driver speeding while looking at his phone.

Adding that Mr Yuhasz's account had left him worried about his wife using local cabs in the future, Mr Smith said it was “pretty disturbing what you can experience getting in a taxi these days in Bermuda”.

Letters to the Editor, page 5

An abusive tirade by a taxi driver is being investigated (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 06, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 06, 2015 at 1:51 am)

Taxi driver tirade under investigation

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