Taxi operators warned about illegal charges

Amid claims of taxi drivers overcharging passengers and demanding they pay more for “extra luggage” or air conditioning, the Director of the Barbados Transport Authority Alex Linton has warning offending operators to cease and desist as they are in breach of the law.

But Secretary of the Barbados Transport Cooperative Society (BTCS), Anthony Harewood, has insisted that taxi operators should be allowed to charge a higher fare in some circumstances, in the same way that airlines charge extra for additional luggage.

He also complained that while the authorities are demanding that drivers charge by the book, fares have not been increased in years, despite rising operational costs.

In warning taxi drivers against acting in contravention of the law, Linton made specific reference to Section 79 (5) of the Road Traffic Regulations which states that “the driver of a hackney carriage, maxi-taxi or taxi who demands a fare in excess of that set out in the Second Schedule is guilty of an offence”.

However, Harewood said he supported the practice of drivers who charge an extra fee for heavy or large bags, stopping along the journey or having to wait on passengers.

While the law does allow for taxi drivers to charge a passenger for making the driver wait, it does not sanction the other positions of the BTCS secretary.

Section 80 (1) facilitates payment for waiting or going further than the customer originally intended, but it still only permits fares based on a stipulated distance as outlined in the Second Schedule of the same regulations.

The regulations also allow a maxi taxi (ZM) to charge no more than one and a half times the fare provided for on the tariff list.

The Road Traffic Regulations also demand that taxi drivers display, in a prominent place inside their vehicles, a statement of the prescribed fares.

Linton’s warning to taxi drivers not to operate outside the law also came on the heels of complaints by a retired Barbadian couple that they were overcharged by an airport taxi driver when they arrived in Barbados from Canada on August 22.

They claimed that on two previous occasions, when they used an airport taxi to get home near the St George Parish Church, they were charged $39 as advertised on the notice board at the airport.

However, when they arrived in the island last month, they were presented with a $79 bill immediately after leaving the airport.

 They said after a verbal confrontation and their insistence that the driver return to the airport to query the fee, they were directed to another taxi whose driver charged $53.

Linton agreed that based on the distance to the couple’s home, a $39 fee was the correct charge. He promised to investigate the complaint and take whatever action was required.

The largest representative organization for tax drivers at the Grantley Adams International Airport – the Barbados Transport Cooperative Society – told Barbados TODAY it was also looking into the matter and would take “disciplinary” action against the driver if he was found to be guilty of any wrongdoing.


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10 Responses to PUMP BRAKES

  1. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock September 19, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Limousines, taxis, here charge for overweight extra luggage.

  2. Michael Ess
    Michael Ess September 19, 2014 at 7:03 am

    What kind of idiot takes a taxi here anyway ?

    • Judy Stanford
      Judy Stanford September 19, 2014 at 7:54 am

      tourists, arriving with luggage!!! nice way to start a holiday. 🙁

  3. Wayne T Griffith
    Wayne T Griffith September 19, 2014 at 7:28 am

    It’s time to install meters in taxis

  4. Kerri-ann Katrina Reyes-Bichir
    Kerri-ann Katrina Reyes-Bichir September 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

    It makes business sense to charge for the extra suit case weight. What is the problem? The airlines also do it, freighting companies do it, the postal services also and so many other business.

  5. Valarie Rock
    Valarie Rock September 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I experienced that couple of weeks ago when a taxi driver told me that he would have to charge me extra money because the traffic on the road is heavy. I politely told him not to bother.

  6. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria September 19, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Taxi drivers in BIM were “tiefing” since Ford made its first automobile….

  7. ThickMadame Scantlebury
    ThickMadame Scantlebury September 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    That is why a lot of tourist catch bus

  8. jr smith September 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Seems as though , people in Barbados is doing what they please, no regards for any authority. What ever is going on whether criminal and whatever else bad behaviour, is going to come back and bite bajans backside.

  9. Tony Waterman September 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    These things happen and will continue to happen until the persons who are put in place, do their Job (s) does it in a PROFESSIONAL way. the Law is Clear, an if there is no extra charge for certain items, (eg.Air Conditioning, extra heavy Bags etc) then there is NO CHARGE. if the Taxi union wants to have that changed, then they should go through the legal Channel to have that done, an in the mean time they should PUNISH any of their Members who Contravene the LAW as it stands now. There are all types of laws in Barbados, but UNFORTUNATELY, NO ONE ENFORCES any of them.
    I Remember my old Social Club Had a Prayer, and in it was a line that Said “”It is the Little things in Life that Creates Differences””Bajans don’t seem to know that this is as true as John 3:16
    If i Had Saved up for a few years, to come to Barbados for a Vacation, and when i got here, the first thing that happened to me was a Thiefing Taxi Driver Robbing me, i WONT ever COME BACK to Barbados. FIRST IMPRESSIONS count more than any other thing, and the Tourism Authority can spend Billions to bring Tourists to Barbados, the only thing that they will EVER Remember, is being ROBBED by the Taxi Driver.


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