A LOT of taxis, but not many people. This was how High Street, San Fernando looked on Tuesday morning as taxi drivers struggled to get passengers.
Gasparillo taxi driver Kenneth Peters told Newsday the fare for trips between the city and Gasparillo is now $15. The drivers have said this is because public transport is now only allowed 50 per cent occupancy as part of the anti-covid19 regulations.
When it was at 75 per cent, the fare was $10.
They said being a taxi driver has been bittersweet lately. While they’re glad fewer people are leaving their homes, they are also barely getting any passengers, which means they are earning less.
Around 11 am, the men had only made two trips each. And despite only being able to accommodate two passengers, it took “a while” to get any.
But they said they support the reduction in occupancy, as “three people (in the backseat) wouldn’t make any sense right now, the way this thing is spreading.”
At the Chaguanas taxi stand, there were scores of seven-seaters lined up, but just one passenger in the vehicle at the front of the queue.
The fare from San Fernando to Chaguanas increased from $14 to $18 on Monday.
The lone passenger – Jose Longa – told Newsday he understood the taxi drivers’ reasoning for increasing the fare.
“The price of gas hasn’t gone down,” he said. “They still have a job to do, and if the government says they have to carry less (sic) people, then that’s just how it is.”
The fare from San Fernando to Macaulay, previously $9, increased to $12 on Monday. In addition, Macaulay-Marabella is increasing from $8 to $11.
Even there, there was just one passenger – a woman, who said she doesn’t usually travel, so she had no idea of the history of these fares and preferred not to comment.