President of the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-Op Society Ltd Adrian Bayley says taxi operators at the island’s sole seaport are getting the short end of the stick.
Speaking with members of the media at the association’s beach clean-up at Holetown Beach on Saturday, Bayley said taxi operators were receiving 20 per cent of the business from cruise arrivals, leaving them at a disadvantage.
“They have cut into a large proportion of our work. These coaches are directly involved in day-to-day tours of Barbados [and] they are still doing the transfers to and from the airport,” Bayley said.
He noted that in 2003 the percentage of coaches to taxi operators providing transportation services was 60:40, however, it’s dramatically changed with coaches providing 80 per cent of the transportation services at the seaport and airport.
He stated that the unfair divide has resulted in intense competition between members and non-members of the association and taxi operators offering innovative tour packages to visitors.
“We created a basic niche where we would have offered ten passengers or 15 passengers in a ZM vehicle to do an island tour, shopping, and beach,” Bayley revealed.
He also went on to suggest that sunset tours packages were lucrative and ought to be explored by more taxi operators as a means to survive.
Bayley said the Bridgetown Taxi Co-op Society is attempting to get the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport to “get back a percentage of the work that is owed to us”.
Forty members of the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-op Society Ltd participated in the inaugural beach clean-up this morning. Taking note of the debris and overgrown foliage at the West Coast attraction, Bayley stated that the island’s tourism product was being compromised.
Describing the environs as “rustic”, Bayley said, “It makes no sense for persons coming to Barbados and go to a filthy beach”.
Trevor Prescod, Minister of Environment and National Beautification called for Barbadians to emulate the taxi operators and create a greener environment.
“We need to have people all across the country, groups, churches, organizations all across the country contributing in this way, in an effort to improve the quality of our physical environment [and] helping to develop a green environment,” Prescod stated. (KK)