NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Transport and Local Government Minister Renward Wells said yesterday that Cabinet has not yet made a decision on whether or not to lift moratorium on taxi plates.
Speaking with reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Wells said: “When I spoke to the issue of the moratorium, the issue of subleasing of taxi plates, buses, livery plates, the issue of persons operating in the state of, all of that is before the Cabinet of The Bahamas as to what direction it is going to go in.
“Cabinet will decide whether it will lift the moratorium and how it is actually going to deal with this issue.”
He continued: “If Cabinet decides that it will not do so and that we will work in the current system that is what we will do and that is what I will communicate to persons in the transportation industry.
“As a minister I cannot move before the Cabinet moves. I’m sure that those persons in the industry understand that. They have been in the business a long time and they know how government works. Once a decision is made I will communicate it to the various unions and then and we will be able to move forward in a holistic and healthy way.”
Back in June, Wells announced in Parliament the establishment of a Cabinet sub-committee consisting of six ministers tasked to make recommendations regarding issues pertaining to recalling of all plates, inactive plates, renewal of franchises, and plates in estates.
The head of the Bahamas Taxicab Union is urging the government to effectively maintain the decades long practice of leasing taxi plates, describing the issue as a ‘quagmire’ which will prove cumbersome for the government to address.
Bahamas Taxicab Union president Wesley Ferguson in a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online said the union took issue with statements made by Wells.
Ferguson said the minister’s comments suggested government would not only hold firm to its plans to lift the moratorium on taxi plates, but also end the practice of leasing them.