Tourism official wants taxi fares regulated

The Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Sue Springer, is calling for legislation to govern how much taxi operators charge tourists.

Her suggestion came amid concerns that taxi drivers have been charging varying amounts and adding amenity fees when transferring visitors from the island’s two ports of entry.

Springer told Barbados TODAY that while she understood the costs associated with the taxi business, she did not believe customers should be charged for something like air conditioning.

“I do understand both sides of the fence and what we need. The answer is to get the taxi fares corrected,” said Springer, noting this has been an issue for taxi drivers “for a long time”.

She recalled that when current Minister of Health John Boyce was Minister of Transport and Works, discussions had taken place about the adoption of appropriate legislation on taxi fares.

Springer said she would like to have that discussion reopened, pointing out that at one stage a committee involving a number of taxi representatives was established to iron out the issues.

“The taxi fare situation needs to be legislated and we need to make sure that we have got it right for the current period of time,” she said, noting that while fuel prices were low, other costs including repairs and maintenance had increased for operators over time.

“So the fares have to go in line with what is the actuality of operation just like anywhere. If food goes up, a restaurant puts up their price. So it is the same sort of thing,” Springer said.

“What we need is to make sure that there is a guideline of exactly what is the actual tax fare, whether or not luggage is included, whether or not you have prices for vans, whether you have prices for taxis or so on.”

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