Taxi-cabs: Travel restrictions “devastating blow”

Taxi-cabs: Travel restrictions “devastating blow”
Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTU) president Wesley Ferguson (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government’s decision to block international commercial flights from the country’s major tourist source market was described yesterday as a ‘devastating blow’ for the taxi-cab industry.

Wesley Ferguson, the Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTCU) president told Eyewitness News, “we’re back to square one”.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis during a national address yesterday afternoon announced that international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers will not be permitted to enter the country’s borders except for commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

This will come into effect on Wednesday, July 22, at midnight.

Still, with 85 percent of the country’s stop over visitors coming from the United States, Ferguson said the future for local taxi drivers looks bleak.

“I anticipated this was going to happen. It was my opinion that we reopened too soon,” he said.

“It was also my opinion that if we got COVID-free or near  COVID-free we should not rush to reopen our borders. This is devastating news to taxi drivers who are trying to get back to some normalcy.”

He said: “We are still playing this balancing act between health and wealth. This is a devastating blow for the taxi industry. The industry is basically shut down especially when you consider the fact that the cruise won’t be back anytime soon.

“Now with no international flights to really speak of that means no work for many. Only a handful of drivers service the local segment so we’re back to square one,” he said.