Taxi cab union finally air concerns with Transport Minister

Moratorium and new plates discussed at recent meeting

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – It appears as if some of the many concerns of the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union will finally be addressed, as the union, following several strikes, was able to lodge their concerns at a recent meeting with Minister of Transport Renward Wells.

“He had a lot of information for us on his position with the taxi industry and a proposal for the moratorium on taxi plates,” said president of the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union, Wesley Ferguson, in a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online.

Ferguson said Wells was also made aware of the issues that cab drivers face because the colour of their license plate is the same as rental SD vehicles.

Ferguson noted, however, that this is expected to change.

Following the government’s decision to make both SD [rental] and taxi cab plates yellow, many cab drivers alleged that SD owners were moonlighting as taxi cab drivers, thus stealing their business.

But now, with a change in place, Ferguson said taxi drivers had until May 31 to register for their new plates.

Ferguson said the union also provided tips to the minister as it relates to addressing other issues of the union in the interim.

“We gave him the information that he needs so that he could have a clear picture of the way ahead,” Ferguson said.

According to Ferguson, the transport minister has also completed an audit of the Road Traffic Department, of which he agreed that improvement was needed.

“He [Minister Wells] completed a very extensive and comprehensive audit of the road traffic department, which he agreed was chaotic and, for lack of a better word, just in disarray and like this for years. [But] We will now be out of that situation where the taxi plates and the SD plates are the same color.”

Ferguson said it is also his hope that the ministry will iron out the many kinks and issues of the taxicab industry without having an abrasive relationship with the union.

Meanwhile, Ferguson said he was unable to provide any extensive information on the new moratorium on taxi plates or on the other issues that were resolved at the union’s meeting, but he will continue to lean on Wells to ensure that their longstanding issues are addressed.