By Zaya Williams
After years of persistent appeals, the St. John’s Taxi Association has achieved a significant triumph in securing a 20 percent fare increase for its members. This welcomed adjustment will be implemented in stages, marking a significant relief for taxi operators.
Patrick Burnette, President of the St. John’s Taxi Association, revealed that the fare increase, which has long been sought after, will be introduced in a phased manner.
He explained, “After meeting with the cruise lines, they did accept our proposal or we had agreed to a 20 percent increase. However, we made an agreement for increments which has been sent out to all the different tour agents and partners that we have. And so as of October 1, we will have a 10 percent that will be added unto the fare, and based on the time that the increase came on, we will have over a three-year period that 20 percent covered.”
This substantial fare increase will directly benefit all prepaid members operating within the St. John’s Cruise line vicinity.
In 2021, taxi operators throughout the island witnessed a transformation in the taxi fare system after extensive dialogues with the government. The previous system applied a single fare to a full load of four passengers, which has now been replaced by a fare structure determined by the number of passengers being transported.
The taxi industry, like many tourism-dependent sectors, faced severe financial challenges during the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, which lasted for over two years. The cruise industry, in particular, bore the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, facing significant disruptions as passenger operations came to a near halt, rendering it emblematic of the pandemic’s consequences.