Taxi operators stage protest against new parking rules; Douglas says decision is best for industry

Douglas

Tourism Minister Ian Douglas said any decision taken regarding taxi operators is done in the best interest of the sector.

He was speaking on the heels of a protest action by taxi operators today who claimed that decisions were just being “shoved down their throats” without consultation.

“We are angry because tourism officials had a meeting and took some decisions which taxi drivers are not in favor of. Some of those decisions include no parking and ‘keep clear’ signs to prevent us from parking on the Roseau Bayfront. We know that the area cannot take all the taxi buses but they made their decisions without consulting us,” noted Public Relations Officer of the Combined Taxi Incorporated Genner Guiste

But Douglas told Dominica News Online that the decision was taken to make the experience for the cruise visitor more welcoming.

“The cruise industry is very competitive and all of us know what it felt like when Victory decided it was moving Dominica from its schedule. Everything that we can do to ensure that the destinations remain at its best will be done,” he said.

According to Douglas, “all that we do in Dominica is to allow us to improve on the product today”.

The 2010/11 Cruise season officially came to an end today.

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31 Comments

  1. eddie
    May 2, 2011

    Dominicans before u comment get the real facts we the taxi drivers are the one meeting the tourist first we are the ambasadors of our country when come to tourism thats a fact. what we a simple saying we need more respect the gorvernment should not just turn around and implement rules,move signs, withought informing we the taxi drivers u must understand thats where we work i must admit there must be rules but not the way it is being done and thats what we are saying.NB THINK BACK THE MOST EFECTIVE PROTEST THAT EVER TOOK PLACE IN DOMINICA IS 1994 UNDER THE FREDOM PARTY AND THE OTHER UNDER THE LABOUR IT TOOK US JUST A FEW HOURS TO GET OUR WISH.So what we are simple saying we deserve respect dont just do things overnight withought informing us.Ghost i think thats conflict of interest u are the president yet still u on DDA board u on DASPA board Taxi drivers i think we need to look into who should lead us because the ghost dont even call meetings to imform of what taking place he must attend the meetings he knew that was taking place why do u think he refuse to speak to the media.So wat im saying some of u a going astray on what the protest was about

  2. Dion
    May 1, 2011

    I guess the same rational that was used to move certain types of taxi from the bay front should also apply to the vendors; otherwise the action of the govt can be deemed as targeted unemployment for certain taxi drivers.

    When are we going to stop subsidizing the tourist industry? Why are we trying to put our people at a disadvantage. I thought that we were operating in a free market system? The very same group of people who lobbied for the removal of preferential treatment for countries who economy depended on bananas for the most part now want preferential in the tourist industry in these islands.

    What value are we putting on our resources? why are we letting others put a price on our resources?

    It is my understanding that some taxi drivers are under pricing the tours. The solution is that the transport board should set the price from the bay front to the various attractions that visitors go to just as there is a set price from the airport to any part of Dominica.

    Persons should not be forced to purchase any tour. The purchase of a tour should be up to the visitor. By the way had it not been for the private tours to our eco sites they would not be bringing in the type of revenue that now obtains.Why should a country want to make less money from an important resource as our natural attractions.

    More people currently go on private tours than organize tours and that is good for the state revenue as private tours cost us$5.00 as opposed to organize tour us$3.00. Any businessman who deliberately try to reduce his profit margin for another competitor should get out of business. If the number of visitors paying us$3.00 at our sites increase above the current level our revenue base will be eroded and where is the money going to come from to maintain trails ans other infrastructure? I guess tax the over taxed.

    As I close let me suggest to the minister of tourism to find out what obtains in other destination in the Caribbean and try to adapt to our situation other wise you will be back asking the bus drivers from Portsmouth you allow bank to take their bus to vote for you. Yes you will..

    I invite comments on this piece. By the way we do not need more PhD people just people with basic common sense to see we are heading in the wrong direction in relation to this matter under discussion. Thank you

  3. Know nut
    April 30, 2011

    Theae Taxi drivers will definitely kill the Tourist industry. Firstly there are too many taxis trying to get in on that racket.On any given day one cannot find parking space on that square area going Eat on King George V strNorth on Old Street Hanover Street and all the other little lanes around that arear, as for the Mary Eugenia Blvd it looks like an old garage with buses parked each and every way,even the private parking space of J E Nassief is cluttered with double parked buses..On tourist day the taxi operators take over that section of Roseau Their driving habits are another point of concern these drivers are practicing the dangerous habit of stoping their buses on BRIDGES to allow their fares to take phtographs this is a dangerous habit,they also trespass on private lands to pick pick fruits .this also must cease

  4. Mr.Jeffrey
    April 29, 2011

    them guys needs to boycut a few ships livin no taxi to take guest arround , lets see what will be reenforced

    • Big-Bannan
      May 1, 2011

      Dumb

  5. mouth from the north
    April 29, 2011

    Dominicans like to cry 4 every little thing. Rain falling they crying, sun shinning they crying, wind blowing… oh my god … they have no medicin.

    • nite
      April 29, 2011

      very funny!!!lol…

    • reality
      April 29, 2011

      mouth from the north makes no sense what so ever. GET REAL.

  6. Piper
    April 29, 2011

    Just to re-enforce the points that some people made.

    (1) If you are going to make rules that affect certain segments of the society, it would not be asking too much to consult with them. You would be surprised at the number of ideas they could bring to the table.

    (2) The government could have presented them with models that work in orher tourist destination. Perhaps they could improve on them with input from the operators.

    (3) In addition to telling them what they cannot do, they must also give them an alternate site where they can park. These decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. There has to be a plan that makes the whole system work smoothly. The government cannot work against the operators. Although there must be compromises, in the end, it must be a net benefit to the tourism industry (which includes the operators).

    (4) The taxi operators must understand that there must be some sort of order in dealing with people who by and large are used to doing things in an orderly fashion.

    • long fing
      April 29, 2011

      Imagine if every decision a government had to make depended on consulting those affected, do you think that any decision would be made in a timely manner. The taxi drivers are for their self interest and cant see the long term benefits of the decision but the tourism authorities have the entire tourism sector in mind.

      • Enslaved again
        April 29, 2011

        @ long fing. Slave Mentality still exists. Of course the Taxi Operators would have more difficulty to see the benefits whether short or long term unless and until the Tourism authorities allow all ideas to contend. Even the less educated has something to say. If a decision is going to be made that would affect persons involved in the industry, how foolish it is not to consult with them. Does it mean that the authority feels that the taxi operators, an important stakeholder in the Tourism Business, are so dumb that they cannot input or give some good advice as regards the changes to be made. How much effort or time would it take to call the Taxi operators or their Reps. or Association, invite them to the meeting/s and allow them to fully participate in the decision to change things for the better?

        What are you talking about making decisions in a timely manner? Proper Planning and implementation, dissemination of vital information and involvement of all stakeholders is what make things work better. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL. It is absolutely dictatorial and stupid to take decisions on behalf of people or an organisation and they are deliberately excluded, for whatever reason, from that decision-making. That is not how we should live especially in the 21st. century.

      • Big-Bannan
        May 1, 2011

        The Taxi drivers are NOT “every decision” they are the backbone of the Tourist Industry. As uneducated as some of them are, you have to admit; people cannot see the Island without them. What the are asking it to be involved in decisions that affect them and their livelyhood. Do you see a democratic problem with that? Lybia, Venezuala, and Cuba would agreee with your point.

  7. Anonymous
    April 29, 2011

    i am very much in favor of the government decision the taxi drivers park over night and take up all the space i just think there should be parking meters on the bay front people park their vehicles there all day and other shopper or people doing business in the area cant find parking

    • moi
      April 29, 2011

      you might want to think about using the full stop, it’s a useful thing!

      • long fing
        April 29, 2011

        petty

    • doggy for life
      April 30, 2011

      :twisted: anonyous you need to keep your dam meter and shorve it up your ray,ray .fool keep your mordern slavery idea to your self.

    • Big-Bannan
      May 1, 2011

      Very valid point.

  8. Patriotic Citizen
    April 29, 2011

    And what arrangements have been made for alternative parking or these taxi operators? That’s all I get from this article, we restricting them from parking here toooo?????? Where exactly?

  9. Nathaniel Peltier
    April 29, 2011

    It is all good with the decision that the drivers should not park on the bay front.
    What I would like to know is where should they park?
    When a ship is in port Roseau is not drivable. If all the buses are not on the bay front where should they go more in the town center?

    On another note we now see that things are being put in place to beautify Roseau and they are trying to clear out the bay front and that is good.

    I am just interested to know why the Victory really pulled out because they are still going to Bados and Lucia. Was it really cost.

    • Cerberus
      April 29, 2011

      – the cruise terminal needs to be relocated, away from the town centre. It was constructed in the centre of Roseau with the best of intentions but times have changed and we should change with them.
      – cruise lines are not obliged to call on Dominica. Increasingly they make their profits from activities such as on-board gambling, bar sales and also shore excursions. Carnival are in business to make a profit and it simply was no longer worthwhile to come here. Going to another destination instead contributed more to their bottom line. If we want them to continue calling on us we must provide the incentives for them to enhance their profits. In that sense they can dictate on what terms they are prepared to include us in their schedules, playing one destination off against the other.

  10. Noble
    April 29, 2011

    I agree change must come, and there should be consultation with the parties affected by these actions. But why are these officials bent on re-inventing the wheel? Would’nt it be better to find out how these things are done in other successful tourist destinations?

    Consult with or study how St.Martin, St.Thomas, Barbados etc. do it and avoid re-inventing the wheel, just agravating yourselves and others involved/affected by this!

  11. worrieddominican
    April 28, 2011

    this is just to show the socialist government that is running the country,ian you should have met with the taxi drivers @ a meeting,discuss the problem and get a solution,but i hope all the taxi drivers that are protesting will vote labour again.

  12. LOCKHEED
    April 28, 2011

    Build a garage over the Roseau river a self park Garage will in the long run pay for itself we cannot create more space in Roseau as it is therfore we must look out side the box and start building up. Yes it cost money lots of it I agree but the next level should not be limited to the ground only be crative look at space we have between those three bridges our congestion problem would be solve if such a venture is undertaken the Chines are already on the ground why not consult with them is ony then Roseau will be free of congestion and our tourism industry will automatically take off. Wake up my people lets all work to take Dominica to the next level like no other Caribbean Island. “I thank you.

    • Ras B
      April 29, 2011

      I agree!!!!

    • garfunkel
      April 30, 2011

      Do you mean garage or car park?

      • Big-Bannan
        May 1, 2011

        Hey.. that Garage thing. .must be British. Maybe another supporter of the Queen. hehe

  13. leroy lagoon
    April 28, 2011

    Well Dominicans when he has a point lets say it the same way, like we are quick to bash him when we disagree! Will mister Ashton please stand up. And say well done!

    • Tedash
      April 29, 2011

      leroy
      Whats the big point ! Solving one problem to create another. should the tourist walk half a mile up town to catch a taxi. Why not develop a place like possie with the necessay space. look at st.kitts how they develop Prot zante.
      Simple solution- move the port from longhouse to cabritts and use longhouse as a tourist area. then you have lots of land for development . we could then have an area thats better than heritage quay in antigua and better than port zante in st.kitts.
      Anyway leroy greg ia waiting on u .

  14. honest lady
    April 28, 2011

    That is because visitors have more rights than us. I thought that if we liked, or loved something then it would be automatic that the visitor love or likes it, but alas it is the opposite in DA. Why don’t we all just leave DA for them then come back s visitors, then it would work. Try that.

    • unknown
      April 30, 2011

      The people have the power in their hands. let`s be real, it`s the bus drivers who causes the Gov`t to collect revenue at the sites and also causes the vendors to sale their items at the sites and more inportantly it`s the bus operation who give the visitors the experience of our lovely country. So inlight of that why are they targeted? With this measures, the country will collect less revenue at the sites and it`s going to increase the level of unployment in the contry. take note!!!

      • Dion
        May 1, 2011

        You made your point hope those block heads get that.

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