Saturday, September 30, 2023

Taxi Drivers Operate as Bus Drivers Are Forced Out of Operation

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As police officers enforced the latest emergency order that prohibits public transport, taxi services remained in service today.

A picture circulated social media of buses parked and drivers congregated after reports that passengers were forced to disembark buses this morning by law enforcement officers.

Photo credit: Eyewitness News

Police enforced the amended order  by the competent authority which says, No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any public bus transportation.

Theresa Hopkins said she had to pick up her grandson who was expelled from a bus after it was intercepted by police officers.  “My grandson could have called for a ride. What about the people who could not?” she questioned.

Shirley Mireault  said government seems to be “targeting the lower class” in need of transportation.

However, taxi driver Ian Smith said an exception was made for taxi drivers as Bahamas Taxi Cab Union President Wesley Ferguson lobbied  for permission to operate as tourists are still on the island in need of transportation.

Smith, a former bus driver said during his routine drive on Tuesday morning, he saw buses of his former colleagues parked at a police station .

Smith said even though he and his fellow colleagues were given permission to operate, they make little money as few tourists are on the island and a very small number request the taxi service.

“We may find a job or two, but it ain’t really nothing out there to do. We are driving up and down burning gas most of the day.”

He said most of his clientele has been tourists by sea arrivals from yachts, as domestic services remain low.

“If I make 200 a day, its good. Before time it was couple hundred dollars.

“It’s frustrating.”

The public transportation industry was out of service during the COVID-19 pandemic, but were allowed to operate earlier this month, with 50 percent capacity.


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