Taxi drivers who operate from Upper Broad Street, The City have complained that this Christmas season has been extremely slow and they did not anticipate any significant pickup in business as the season comes to an end.
Jeffery Scott, who has been an operator for the past 28 years, told Barbados TODAY this holiday season has been the worse he has ever experienced.
“I haven’t [gone] to Courts, Massy store or no furniture store during this Christmas holiday and carry home no appliances . . . so I would know full well that it is a poor season,” he said, adding, “we got to hope for the best because we don’t know how it will turn”.
The experienced taxi driver contended that private car owners were taking a large slice of their trade by offering taxi services at rates that were lower than the recommended fares. He added that, in any event, there were too many taxis on the streets of Barbados resulting in drivers undercutting each other.
“This is going to create a problem. Some taxi drivers listen and hear the price of a job a next taxi driver is about to do and then they cut the price down by five or ten dollars,” he contended, adding he did not expect any better tonight.
Another driver, Eustace Beckles, observed that visitors to the island had changed their behaviour, avoiding taxis in order to save money. He said he was assured of work only when it rained.
“The tourists are walking and catching bus. [They] are just like Bajans right now. They want the reggae bus,” he said.
However, unlike Scott, Beckles was more optimistic about tonight, saying he expected there would be a high demand for taxis.
Meanwhile, Adrian Applewhite, who has been a taxi man for 23 years, took a more philosophical approach, telling Barbados TODAY he would make the best of the current situation.
“I can’t come here and stand up and not ask anyone if they want a taxi . . . I come here to work and my job is to knock and when I knock, God does open the door for me. God is the one who provides for me, so if I don’t get ten dollars I don’t feel no way because it wasn’t my time. I have been blessed everyday because it has been God giving me everything I want, so I can’t say I ain’t getting no work. I getting work because God have been providing for me daily,” Applewhite said.