Rush to implement fare increase

Last week the government legislated an increase in taxi fares with immediate effect. The increase came 15 years since the last was given – see Road Traffic (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.

The Chairperson of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Renee Coppin reacted to the announcement by given support to the increase, BUT, criticized the process. She opined there was a lack of proper consultation with key stakeholders by not giving sufficient time to factor the increase in business planning by those who will be most effected. There was a suggestion the increase could have been implemented after a 90 day disclosure period.

The blogmaster agrees with Coppin, it was unprofessional and discourteous the high handed manner the fare hike was implemented by government. Holding such a position – as stated by Coppin – does not signal disagreement for the increase, it is about being equitable to all who would have been affected. Who wants to slay the goose laying the golden egg?

A concern of the blogmaster worth mentioning is the large number of taxi permits issued based on satisfying narrow political interest. An increase is justified but isn’t it ironic successive governments have issued taxi (PSV) permits willy-nilly leading to an uncompetitive sector? Why is the sector over served because of corrupt politicians approving permits to ‘friends’?

The blogmaster cannot say if the Transport Authority has been able to efficiently regulate issuance of permits since its inception. However, if one surveys the chaos in the transportation sector in Barbados the blogmaster is highly doubtful.

See Related Link:

BHTA Warns of Implications of Taxi Fare Hike

19 thoughts on “Rush to implement fare increase

  1. “The blogmaster agrees with Coppin, it was unprofessional and discourteous the high handed manner the fare hike was implemented by government.”

    @ David

    I’m a bit disappointed by your above comments.

    ‘Government’ introduced the petroleum adjustment price mechanism 13 ½ years ago, on June 5, 2009.
    Taxi operators have been advocating for an increase in taxi fares to cope with the fluctuation of fuel prices and the rising cost of living.

    Apparently, the BHTA did not believe “it was unprofessional and discourteous the high handed manner” when:

    (1). in March 2018, the owner of the Crane Resort confiscated and locked chairs belonging to beach vendors in a container, thereby depriving them of making a living.

    (2). hotel owners systematically drove beach vendors, water-sports operators and Barbadian ‘sea-goers’ off the beaches they, for several years, surreptitiously sought to privatise.

    (3). hotel owners, SIMILARLY TO TAXI OPERATORS, ask for tax concessions or reductions and ‘hand-outs’ from ‘government’ at the expense of Barbadian taxpayers.

    (4). hotel owners find all types of excuses not to increase the salaries and wages of their employees.

    (5). hotel owners renovate their properties and increase their food, beverage and room rates.
    For example, the cost of Banks and Deputy beers have increased at least twice during the past few months and I’m sure prices in the hotels were ADJUSTED as well.

    I would love to hear “the chair of the BHTA, Rene Coppin,” ADDRESS the ‘concerns articulated’ by several qualified Barbadians who are continually overlooked for jobs in the tourism sector by hotel owners that always seem to CONVENIENTLY not receive suitable applications for vacancies and have to apply for work permits to facilitate the EMPLOYMENT of NON-NATIONALS.

  2. @ David

    I read your opinions on the issue carefully before responding.

    Why should taxi operators have to wait three (3) months before implementing the proposed increases in taxi fares, when hoteliers increase their rates with immediate effect, irrespective of how such increases would affect the industry?

    My concern is that any initiative that would benefit the ‘smaller players’ in the tourism industry is often viewed by hoteliers and the BHTA as having a detrimental effect on tourism.

    I agree successive BLP and DLP administrations have been issuing PSV permits to their friends…… and themselves.
    However, it does not negate justification for an increase in taxi fares.

    During the recession and the recent COVID-19 restrictions, PSV operators struggled to cover operating costs due to a reduction in passengers, and particularly in relation to the cost of fuel, since prices have been fluctuating in accordance with ‘government’s’ petroleum adjustment price mechanism.

    I know someone will say we’re always making references to other countries, but, rising fuel costs and the cost-of-living crisis have prompted an increase in taxi fares in countries world-wide.
    For example, effective November 14, 2022, taxi fares increased in Tokyo, Japan, for the first time since 2007, ‘at a time when the industry is facing falling demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as soaring fuel costs.’

    • The issue Artax is that travel agents sell packages and have to factor transportation costs. If a hotel increases room rate it will be known at the time of booking.

  3. David I suspect the ‘transfer costs’ if via an agency are fixed for a period and will not change.
    Similarly if a property contracts to a taxi operator, that too will not change immediately.
    Yet, other taxi fares will rise. Just a price increase.
    When the GoB defaulted they didn’t ‘give notice’?😉

  4. GM David

    I made a comment in the Sports section on the Usain Bolt situation, but I haven’t seen it, could you check your spam?

  5. It alway better to get early notifications
    The taxis operators were holding the keys and did enuff waiting

    “ we need our money and we need it now “

    What were the demands of the operators?
    What would have been their response to further delay and what would have been the consequences?

  6. “The price of dithering” is what one writer called it. There should have been gradual increases over the years instead of one big jump.

    But who gives a damn what one-eyed hoteliers say?


  7. This is the correct place for this comment.

    I was reading an article (Vendor’s fear) in today’s BT e-paper about vendor’s fear of the Government decision to introduce planned nutrition to school. Essentially, the vendor’s may be forced to sell food that the children may not want.

    Read the article for yourself but let me tell you how I see it.

    This may be a smart way to kill-off these small timers and soon we will have one large ‘corporation’ providing ‘healthy’ lunches to our children. This will result in a national “school feeding” program.

    Of course, some children will still venture off campus and buy the ‘the less healthy snack.

    TheO’s conclusion – A scam in the making; the small guys get ‘kicked’ out; the big shark moves in makes plenty money and laughs on his way to the bank.


    A few will talk of obese children, but parents need to feed their children properly and force them to exercise. That is not the role of the government.

    The bigger issue – I see this government always forcing itself on parents and usurping their right. This government felt no need to consult parents on the IDB survey and now refuses to inform us on who was censored or fired for the “big foot move. Now this government will again play the role of parents and force food down the children’s throat.

    Go away “Big Mother”! Go away “Big Father”. Leave our children alone.

    • TheO
      Have you forgotten? ‘that’ gov’t began a new schools meals kitchen in 2012. By 2018, when ‘that’ gov’t demitted office, all the budgeted money was spent but NO kitchen!!! ‘this’ gov’t determined quickly all the millions it would take to complete, approved the monies, BUT still no new kitchen?
      Rathering than posturing about a ‘lil man’ versus a ‘big man’ the GoB could be providing meals from its own kitchens? Face it, there is little Bajans love more than a ‘freeness’. And a nutritious one to boot.
      Instead, we have millions of taxpayer dollars doing nothing.

  8. I said on this blog already that they are many services that should be tied to the rate of annual inflation. If this was done there would be no massive hikes in anything!

  9. Google told me that Barbados Tourism earns in excess of $1bn per year,
    Taxis make 1,090 BBD per month.
    The Source told me to drop D-Nice Crumbs On The Table to address the wealth inequality issues in the tissues of the structures

  10. @ Southern

    You either tie it to inflation and adjust it at year end after first establishing a true base cost, or someone other than the user will carry the cost.

    If you recall that was happening with fuel cost before the price was floated against true production cost.

    • Firm after new deal on taxi fares
      ONE OF THE ISLAND’S major destination management companies met with some taxi operators last week to negotiate an agreement on new taxi fare pricing.
      A source close to the issue reported that St James Travel & Tours met with taxi operators at Accra Beach Hotel in Christ Church to negotiate a new contract that was set to raise fares by 15 per cent. However, operators said the new payment figures for the contracted operators would still fall below the current increased rate hike.
      “It is basically not fair that the rates have gone up and taxi drivers can’t get a rate increase and driving to and fro around Barbados. They haven’t sent anything to me as yet, so we’re waiting to see what they’re going to decide before we go any further,” that source said.
      When contacted yesterday, chief executive officer of St James Travel & Tours, Helen Parris, declined to comment on the negotiation.
      President of the Independent Seaport Taxi Union, Anthony Eastmond, however, said that taxis contracted with hotels had their own rate structure which tended to be more expensive.
      “I think it’s unfair that there’s a rate by the Government of Barbados and then any local operators are asking taxi drivers to do a 15 per cent increase in taxi fares. That is unjustifiable.
      “For years the same taxi drivers were taking a loss while the tour operators were charging more than the current tariff but were actually paying taxi drivers at the tariff rate. That is a discussion that we should be having,” he said.
      Eastmond told the MIDWEEK NATION that as a taxi operator, he stood in solidarity with his fellow operators with regards to the rate hike mandated by Government.
      “Taxi operators have been facing a huge deficit in business. We would have seen the increase in fuel. We are one of the entities that pay 40 per cent at the pump. We still also pay a yearly road tax fee. Insurance has doubled within this industry and the cost of parts has also doubled,” he remarked.
      New bookings
      He added that the best solution would be for hoteliers and travel agencies to honour the pre-existing prices offered to those who had already booked, while new bookings would be informed of the changed rates.
      On January 7, the same day the rates first came into effect, chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, Renée Coppin, called for a three-month delay on applying the increase of new taxi rates for operators with pre-existing contracts for transportation services.
      The revised rates had seen some fares doubled. For example, the fare from Grantley Adams International Airport to Holetown, St James, which previously was $58, increased to $122; the journey to Harrison’s Cave in St Thomas, which used to attract a $53 fare, is now $108; the fare to Gibbs in St Peter has moved from $64 to $138; and the fare to Speightstown is now $144, up from $73. (JK)

      Source: Nation

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