For the first time in 15 years, taxi operators across the island have been given the opportunity to have a significant fare increase.
This was revealed on Friday, January 7, by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport Santia Bradshaw during a press conference held at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
…to be able to ensure that we have a standard fare setting that allows for people to be able to earn a decent living. We regret that this has been long in coming…
Bradshaw who was accompanied by several stakeholders in the taxi sector contended that the biggest cause for concern that led to this change was the “disparity” in the rates that existed.
“One of the things that concerned us and really brought this to a head was the disparity in the rates that existed. For instance, if you went from the seaport to the airport you were paying $80, if you were coming from the airport to the seaport you were paying $46. These things are not right and we believe that attempts had to be made to not only understand better the challenges that operators were facing but to bring some level of parity to this situation.”
The Minister thanked economic advisor Dr Clyde Mascoll whose “stellar work” guided the Ministry to this final decision. She explained that his recommended new fare structure took into account the input costs taxi operators contend with daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
“Ambassador Mascoll, I really want to thank him as well for the work that he has done. It has been stellar work, very outstanding in terms of his commitment in seeing this through. He has met with all the various stakeholders, he has led the discussions at various levels, he has guided the Ministry, he has guided the Cabinet and based on the expressions that have come back from him, he would have recommended to us a new fare structure which took into account all of the input costs that the operators currently face. All of the costs in terms of insurance and fuel.”
Bradshaw also briefly mentioned a new taxi metering app that will be coming in the next few months. Planning is expected to conclude by the end of April 2023 in order to be released by July 1, 2023.
“It has taken into account those factors, to be able to ensure that we have a standard fare-setting that allows for people to be able to earn a decent living. We regret that this has been long in coming but I feel that now that we’ve had particularly these discussions not only today, but New Year’s Day, we had the opportunity to speak to the associations and we’ve been able to agree that while the fare structure will be changed effective from Saturday, January 7, we are also working on rolling out the taxi app in the next coming months.”