Tens of thousands of people who depend on maxi taxis transportation can look out for an increase in fares as maxi taxi drivers ponder their next move in the wake of an increase in the price of super gas and diesel, announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the budget on Monday.
“Government has an option. If they want to go back to the old price of fuel which was $2.30 per litre for diesel, we can and would keep the fares where it is. If the fuel price increase remains, our fares are going to go up,” president of the Route Two Maxi Association Linus Phillip said yesterday.
Phillip said fares are "definitely going to go up", simply because drivers cannot absorb the increased cost of fuel. It is expected that there would be domino effect in that other maxi taxi associations and then the various taxi drivers associations and even PH drivers will all increase their fares.
“We are supposed to have an engagement with the line Minister of Works and Transport this afternoon. The cost is even higher than the last three increases put together. While I do not have the figure as to the increase in the maxi taxi fares, it is something we have to discuss,” Phillip said.
“We are meeting with the membership next Tuesday to get the broadest view on the situation and we will come to a decision." Commenting last November on his raising fuel prices three times within a short space, Minister Imbert joked, "And they have not rioted as yet."
Phillip said he hopes the wider public understands that just like everybody else, maxi taxi drivers have bills to pay, loans to service and children to send to school. A maxi taxi, he said, takes about 80 litres of fuel per day. You are looking at $600 spent in fuel a week, times four, that is $2,400 a month in fuel alone. Then there is the wear and tear on the vehicle. The cost to service the maxi taxi. The cost to change tyres. These are factors the travelling public do not consider.