St James, St Ann's taxi fares raised

File photo.
File photo.

St James and St Ann's taxi drivers are increasing their fares by $1.

The former increase was announced in an ad in last Friday's Newsday by the St James Taxi Drivers' Association.

The notice said the increase will be effective from Wednesday.

President of the St Ann's Taxi Drivers Association Ronald Frederick and St James Taxi Drivers' Association president Errol Alexander said on Tuesday prices will depend on the route. Commuters leaving from the St James and St Ann's taxi stands will now have to pay $6 for the regular routes and $11 for off-routes.

Alexander said it has been six years since the last price hike and after all the taxi drivers met, they decided it was time, especially with the increase in the prices of fuel, vehicle maintenance and the overall cost of living.

"Just this morning I put $160 in gasoline, and it didn't even full. It's almost three-quarters full, and it might take $210 to full the tank."

When asked if he had had any complaints about the increase, he said, "Most of the passengers said, 'You guys should have increased the prices a long time, because the 'PH' drivers charge $6-$7.'"

Frederick said he and his fellow drivers also had at least three meetings before setting the new prices.

He explained, "We have numerous off-route prices inside St Ann's, even along the route."

On complaints, he said, "It's normal for the travelling public to have some concerns, like anything else when prices increase."

He said the price increase is necessary for their survival and livelihood, as drivers would need to provide for themselves, families and still have a car to earn a living. He said along with filling his gas tank with $200 worth of gasoline in some instances, he has to spend $700 every three months on parts and upkeep the car.

One regular commuter at the St James taxi stand, Ernest Duncan, said he was not aware of the increase, but said, "I don't have a problem but if it was $2, I would have."

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