PRINCES Town to San Fernando taxi drivers are facing the threat of rogue individuals posing as legitimate taxi drivers on their route.
So said Princes Town Taxi Drivers Association president Dennis Jagessar on Wednesday.
Jagessar, who is also treasurer of the TT Taxi Drivers Network, told Newsday that two groups of rogue drivers are trying to take over the association's taxi stand at Library Corner, San Fernando. He said these drivers are young people who "block the stand, (and) use their telephones to contact each other. While one fulls, they will hold the stand until the other one comes."
Jagessar said one group has eight members and the other has seven.
To make matters worse, he continued, " They're starting to rival against each other which will create a problem."
He described the actions of these groups as "thuggery" and said it threatens the livelihood of the 285 registered drivers who work the Princes Town to San Fernando route.
"We want to change that and stop that. Right now we are looking for the intervention of the police to sort this out and then we could get things streamlined in the right way."
Jagessar said one of the initiatives to curb this rogue activity is for registered taxi drivers to wear uniforms, an initiative that is not limited to his association.
"Each taxi group is trying to negotiate with the Government. Each taxi group will have a number, and when that system comes in place, each taxi group will have a dress code to go with, that carries the number."
But, he said, "Until such that we put that system in place, it doesn't make any sense we trying to get a uniform."
He reiterated that no registered driver in the association has received a uniform from anyone.
But, he said,, "We have all the information on all drivers: taxi badge number, the name of the driver, the vehicle he drives. It will be printed on the uniform for them when that time comes."
He also said the association is speaking with a company about installing bar codes on the doors of registered drivers' taxis. There will be a mobile app which commuters can put on their phones which they can use to scan the bar codes. This will allow them to see all the information about the driver and the car.
Jagessar also said the association has "an arrangement with the (San Fernando) Mayor (Juna Regrello) to properly sort out the taxi stand, and we want to stick with that, because he is the one in charge of San Fernando."
TT Network of Taxi Drivers president Adrian Acosta and Point Fortin Taxi Drivers Association president John David have both spoken about drivers wearing uniforms as one measure which could be implemented to raise their profession to a higher standard.