Airport taxi operators want fare increase

ST. JOHN’S — Taxi operators at the VC Bird International Airport yesterday announced that they would be pushing for a 35 per cent rate increase and denounced government neglect of earlier calls.

Members of the Airport Taxi Association say their last rate increase was 12 years ago. Association President Arthur George said drivers are simply not seeing their way with the fares currently being charged.

“Our highest fare earned is $82 and from that we burn up about $50 in petrol. So you are left with just $32 plus other expenses,” he noted.

In addition to the cost of fuel, George said general wear and tear on taxis have also become more expensive.

“We are not making any money,” he said, adding that members, especially around this time, have had embarrassing encounters with money collectors.

Over 100 taxi-drivers are plying their trade at the VC Bird International Airport.

The association said it has made representation to government on previous occasions “and they just have us running from one department to another and we have become frustrated.”

“In the upcoming season we are going to fight for a fare increase,” George said.

The call for an increase in taxi fares has come at one of the slowest periods in the tourism season.

“We on medication here,” one taxi operator said. “We get one (job) a day sometimes none,” he added. (Antigua Observer)

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