Taxicabs must adapt to survive pandemic

Taxicabs must adapt to survive pandemic
Bahamas Taxicab Union president Wesley Ferguson

Union forecasts major shift in ground transportation industry

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTU) president yesterday said its members will have to learn to adapt to survive in the industry as he predicted a major shift in the ground transportation industry due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Wesley Ferguson told Eyewitness News that he expected changes and new protocols for the way drivers conduct their business “when this is all said and done”.

“With the new protocols we anticipate that those in the ground transportation are going to see some major changes,” Ferguson said.

“The tour companies used to carry 20-30 people in a bus won’t be able to do that anymore. The taxi drivers that wanted to carry 10-12 people won’t be able to do that.”

He continued: “I had a recent Zoom meeting with Global Ports and I have already been contacted by Baha Mar and Atlantis to find out what kind of protocols we are going to put in place once the industry reopens and visitors return. It’s going to be a whole different way that we do things. We have to think outside the box. What will be the new standards for getting in a taxi, on a plane or a cruise ship? People are going to want to know that when they get into a taxi that it’s been sanitized.”

Ferguson said that taxi operators must learn to adapt to survive.

“We will have to learn to adapt and accept that in order to be in the industry we have to operate a certain way. It will not be business as usual. It’s not going to be where we may have five or six fares a day,” he said.

“Business is going to be very slow until people feel confident traveling again. We are going to have to learn to adapt to the changes. You may not be able to take home $500 a day but you may take home $100 but you’re able to go home safe and healthy. It’s a matter of being sensible and professional.”

Ferguson added: “If not, you will find stringent measures in place to force you out of the business.”