‘We need a level playing field,’ Bryan says

A local taxi booking service is not daunted by news  that the American company, Uber, could begin operating here.

However, Khalil Bryan, whose BeepCab app is similar to that of Uber, warns that local taxi operators must not be put at a disadvantage.

Bryan is the founder of Caribbean Transit Solution (CTS), the tracking and taxi booking company that offers BeepCab, an application through which customers can book and pay for a taxi directly from their smartphones.

CTS said in a release today Uber’s introduction would augur well for the region, but it would have to be carefully implemented.

“The introduction of these types of products within a small region like the Caribbean sets apart the destination as a leader and opens the market to various segments of ‘new’ travellers like millennials and event travellers, for example. The sharing economy is an ecosystem and as travellers’ behaviour changes, so should the product offering to meet the needs of said travellers,” CTS said.

“There is room for various players. However, we need to ensure that the barriers which prohibit local players from growth and expansion are not instantly changed for the international giant, giving them an unfair advantage . . . . The existing taxi market is already saturated. BeepCab seeks to support, stabilize, standardize and enable the sector through the utilization of technology.”

The company said after working hard over the past two years with limited support it was “happy to work alongside, and finally have a seat at the table with tourism leaders, other industry leaders and re-engage taxi associations, to support Barbadians working hard to play their part in this economy.

“If of course, the legislation should be lifted, we hope that this is with careful consideration and a level playing field being set, which does not give external parties the advantage. That is not how countries grow, nor is it the environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow locally or regionally,” it added.

CTS said having local companies operate some services benefit the country since they “share wealth more equitably” and ensure that a lot more of the funds are retained and spent within the country.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy has been quoted as saying that Uber officials had been to Barbados “and they are talking with the officials responsible for that sector, the Ministry of Transport and Works”.

Sealy said while Uber would not begin offering service to Barbados anytime soon, the reality was that “it is something that is going to happen and there is nothing that any of us can do to stop that”.

One Response to ‘We need a level playing field,’ Bryan says

  1. Balfast August 18, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Can you image it? The roads of Barbados catering to ZR’s, Minibuses and Uber Taxis?

    Reply

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