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Sunday 15 September 2019
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Taxi drivers hit relocation plan

TAXI drivers working the San Fernando/Port of Spain route say they intend to explore their legal options should the San Fernando City Corporation relocate their stand from Harris Promenade to Kings Wharf.

Association secretary Randy James, speaking at the Harris Promenade taxi stand, said drivers were told during a meeting last week with members of the city corporation that traffic congestion is the main reason for the proposed relocation to Kings Wharf.

“They said the business community complained that we are causing congestion on High Street, but where is the congestion,” he asked, gesturing to an orderly line of taxis parked on the left side of the promenade.

James said the only businesses along the promenade consists of one bank and fruit vendors, most of whom, he said, benefit from the stand’s presence, as passengers would usually buy items from these vendors while waiting for the taxis to fill. He said passengers would have to pay an extra fee of $5 to get to the wharf.

“Most of the stands here in San Fernando, the drop-off points are in the heart of the city. So for example, the fare from Princes Town is $9 and it will cost passengers an extra $5 to go down to the wharf, as it is considered off-route.” He said taxis have not increased their fares despite an increase in the cost of fuel over the past four years.

“We survived four fuel price increases. The Chaguanas to San Fernando taxi fare is $14 and from Chaguanas to Port of Spain, it is $11, so after Chaguanas we are running for $3.

He said that in addition to the increased consumption of fuel if the relocation takes place, the wharf also has a reputation of being unsafe at nights which could be risky not only for the travelling public but also for the taxi drivers themselves. “We are not moving and in fact, we have decided to take legal action if the corporation attempts to move us. We are looking at all out options.” Efforts to reach San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello for a comment proved futile as calls to his cellphone went unanswered.

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