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Taxis vice-president calls for Government to do more

Ricky Tucker, the vice-president of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association, called on those “bashing” the industry to request the Government implement necessary changes (Photograph supplied)

The vice-president of Bermuda’s taxi association has taken to social media to call for those dissatisfied with the industry to take their concerns to the Government.

Ricky Tucker, of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association, wrote a post on the Facebook group MAJ’s List, which said that nearly 200 taxis were off the road for various reasons and that calls for the Government to allow cabbies to have a second vehicle to avoid delays had fallen on deaf ears.

The post has attracted nearly 170 comments from people expressing both support and opposition to his comments.

Mr Tucker wrote: “There are 600 taxi permits, out of that 600 there are over 35 probated and cannot be put on the road until the probate is completed. We have over 100 off the road waiting for parts and 60-plus waiting for new or replacement vehicles. We service the airport, cruise ships, beaches, hotels and locals etc.

“I think it is very unfair to smash the taxi industry when we are all out here working 16-plus hours a day on these horrible roads that cause major damage to our vehicles every day and more are being damaged from these conditions.

“We have been asking the Government to allow us to have two vehicles to avoid these delays but to no avail, so if you want to complain then tell the Government to give us the tools we need to serve you and the public. It has been ten years since we have had any increase in rates and our operational costs have gone up quite considerably.

“We continue to fight with the Government and Minister of Transport to give us more permits and larger taxis to accommodate more lift.

“So please don't bash our industry of hard-working men and women who are doing the best to serve you.”

The association recently issued a letter to its members and those yet to become members asking them to “step up and get involved in fighting for the industry”.

Its concerns largely centre on rates taxi owners are able to charge customers as well as the need for centralised dispatching to improve service.

David Burt, the Premier, said in May that the taxi industry was to face a major overhaul.

He told Parliament that taxi companies were failing to provide a service to late-night revellers and that other private companies could be brought in to fill the gap.

The Royal Gazette asked the ministry at the time whether more could be done to fill the late-night gaps using the government-run bus and ferry service but did not receive a response to the question.

It said in its statement: “The ministry has conducted extensive consultations with the BTOA, carefully considering their concerns.

“Additionally, the ministry remains actively involved in ongoing talks with stakeholders, including the BTOA, as we finalise the recommendations provided by all interested parties.”

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Published August 23, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated August 23, 2023 at 7:57 am)

Taxis vice-president calls for Government to do more

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