Taxi drivers to be under the microscope in new cruise season

taxiTaxi drivers in Dominica will be placed under scrutiny during the 2015/2016 cruise ship season and their attitudes and services will be closely examined.

Authorities at the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) say a huge problem with taxi drivers is the undercutting of prices for tours on the island.

Head of Product Development at the DDA, Kathleen Cuffy- Jno Jules, said tours which are to be sold for US$20 are sometimes being sold for as low as US$6 by taxi drivers.

“So the board is very concerned about that,” she said.

She stated that the problem is especially rampant at the cruise ship pier in Roseau.

Cuffy – Jno Jules pointed out that when prices are undercut, Dominica loses business.

“When you undercut you are actually losing business and Dominica will be branded as a cheap destination,” she stated.

She noted that there are some instances of overcharging but it is not a big problem.

She said the matter is expected be discussed at the Transport Board Meeting on Friday.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Combine Taxi Association and also Training Officer, Margel Durand, expressed disappointment with the turn-out at a training session for taxi drivers.

He said only 25 registered taxi drivers took part in the training, although the association target 50 every year.

Despite his disappointment, Durand stated that, “through all the years I have been doing that, I believe this year was the best.”

Dominica has approximately 370 registered taxi drivers.

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  1. Teetee Weisel
    September 15, 2014

    Why not mandate, yes, MANDATE, that rates are printed, published, and made available for all to see? They could even be posted in the taxis. As an example, you could post hourly rates, and rates covering various destinations. For outstanding service, most travelers (especially North Americans) will give a tip. My husband and I are world travelers (as I write this, we are in a hotel in San Juan, en route to Costa Rica, where tourism is big business), and in our experience, posting rates seems to work. It also protects the tourist, the government, and the taxi owner.

  2. September 14, 2014

    over charging is no a problem craze head I work for the cruise ,line and I know we look at that. bad attitude , rushing the guest, drivers arguing at the front of the guest lost I know

  3. JoJo
    September 13, 2014

    Fair do’s. But we have a free market, have we not? I understand the argument but we should also be careful not to create a monopoly with the cruise lines pocketing most of the profits anyway. We obviously have more bus operators than customers, so it is also a question of supply and demand. It really would help if we had a designated area for authorised bus operators to pick up passengers and the Bay Front is too open for that. it is not a suitable location for cruise ships at all. Under the circumstances I think it is best to be honest and advise cruise ship passengers that if they want peace of mind they should prebook their tour and pay for it and warn all the others that if they decide to bargain with an unauthorised driver they are on their own and at their own risk. I would hate to see people being deprived from making a living, even if it is opportunistic because that is the reality in Dominica today. You have to make a dollar where and when you can. As long as it is legal I have no problem with that.

  4. rescue 911
    September 12, 2014

    I think the most serious problem is over charging.

  5. Anonymous
    September 11, 2014

    this price under cutting is certainly not right there are many other creative ways to make a living . i think that this behaviour is kind of shameful and while i am on this issue ithink it is time for the transport board to look at the bus drivers who transports our local passengers the cruise ship tourist are being treated like gods but the local people are treated like trash. bad and indecent langauge , some of them a tramp dresses better than them. they squeeze passengers into their buses like refugees it is a long story but to make short there are too many wortless bus drivers.

  6. Anonymous
    September 11, 2014

    How can we develop a highly professional tourism/taxi service when of approx 370 registered taxi drivers only 25 took part in the training, although the association target 50 every year. But the most worrying part is the quote.. Despite his disappointment, Durand stated that, “through all the years I have been doing that, I believe this year was the best.”

  7. anonymous2
    September 11, 2014

    DA is definitely over-inflated. Plenty of robbery going on by the govt. as well as some people.

  8. john paul
    September 11, 2014

    I thought the government was discouraging taxi drivers from doing tours on their own.The ship sells the tours gets their agent to do them,the agent employs the taxi associations and if they do not have enough men then they in turn hire individual taxis.So who is under charging or over charging? They are talking about a the left over tours done by a few taximen who sometimes are desperate to make a dollar to save their vehicle from the bank

    • john paul
      September 11, 2014

      by the way does the ship pay vat on the tours sold to it’ customers? It is a service rendered on Dominican soil.I wonder

  9. carotop
    September 11, 2014

    Why shouldn’t we take a taxi! When we hire a taxi, we see what we want to see, not what the cruise ship buses want, and can take our time, not rushed from one spot to another, and sit in a bus with complaining, yappy tourists.
    Also, why should we pay the high price from the ship, when we can enjoy the taxi. Been their, done that.

  10. The Authorities
    September 11, 2014

    That’s capitalism. An economy where the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged.

  11. bias
    September 11, 2014

    Been on several cruises and taxi drivers always try to negotiate their prices to get customers. ….fon t ser why if a taxi driver chooses less money f a trip that dhould be a problem. .,this is what the tourist want…..if fees have to be collected for a site..the govt should collect their entrance fees themselves at the entrance. …..stop blaming everything on the taxi drivers and fix the ptoduct

  12. Morihei Ueshiba
    September 11, 2014

    Why is it taxi operators pay yearly fees, yet the tourism season is not open for the entire year, Kathleen Cuffy- Jno Jules, this is high robbery. 8)

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