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Second plate for taxi drivers!

- Second vehicle must be produced to qualify
A second plate for holders of taxi licenses will be issued from today by the DMV. Photo: VINO
Minister of Communications and Works Hon. Mark Vanterpool; Chairman of the Taxi and Livery Commission Mr. Mervin Blyden and Commissioner of DMV Lorna Christopher at last evening's meeting. Photo: VINO
Minister of Communications and Works Hon. Mark Vanterpool; Chairman of the Taxi and Livery Commission Mr. Mervin Blyden and Commissioner of DMV Lorna Christopher at last evening's meeting. Photo: VINO
A number of concerns were raised at the well attended meeting by Taxi and Livery operators. Photo: VINO
A number of concerns were raised at the well attended meeting by Taxi and Livery operators. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The much discussed issue of second plates for holders of taxi licenses has been resolved with the decision to issue a second plate providing that the holders of taxi licenses can produce a second vehicle to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

This was announced by Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark Vanterpool during a meeting with Taxi and Livery operators at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on March 20, 2012.

“I have exercised my decision-making authority as Minister for Communications and Works, after informing Cabinet, to have a second plate issued to current holders of taxi licenses. The Department of Motor Vehicles has been informed and is ready to facilitate this process, beginning 9 a.m. tomorrow (today) morning March 21, 2012,” said Hon. Vanterpool.

The Minister also made it clear that the second plate is not for storage but for a second vehicle. “The Commissioner is advising that you have to produce the vehicle to get the second plate.” This was met with applause.

The Minister continued, “Let me explain this to you. The main reason we have agreed to the second plate is that we believe you as taxi drivers, it is your livelihood so when you have one plate and one car and that car is broken down, you have to be able to have a second car to continue your business. So we are allowing it for that reason.”

It was also disclosed that the cost for a second plate is $25.

Meanwhile, Minister Vanterpool noted that during his meeting with Taxi and Livery operators in January 2012, several issues emerged that required urgent attention and those included the issue of the second plate for taxi drivers and the issuance of new licenses.

“The Taxi and Livery Commission is now in the process of finalizing a recommendation to the Minister of Communications and Works on the issuance of new licenses. They along with the Commissioner (DMV) will be proposing a basis or criteria on which licenses will be issued, and a recommended amount of licenses to be issued over a period of time without flooding the market so to speak. It is anticipated that this recommendation will be shortly received. At that time it will be shared with you.”

With regards the issuing of uniforms for taxi and livery operators, the Minister is proposing the setting up of a three-member committee that will include a Tourist Board representative, Ministry Representative and a taxi official. It is hoped that suggestions for changes would be submitted in time for the next tourist season.

Minister Vanterpool also said his Ministry will also be working closely with the Tourist Board to institute a Taxi Dispatch System at all Ports of Entry, “as we are frankly dissatisfied with the conduct at some ports”.

It was also disclosed that work to enhance the arrival area at the Road Town Jetty will convene at the end of this month. “This will bring immediate relief to residents and visitors alike that use this port of entry and departure, as it will offer more space and protection from the natural elements.”

Taxi operators voice concern

Meanwhile, there were several concerns raised by the Taxi and Livery operators. One taxi driver recommended that new taxi drivers must be attached to a base and that the Taxi Associations be strengthen to facilitate this. “That way you just don’t give people taxi license just to be out there in the streets and they are not governed and not regulated, they just doing anything because they don’t have a base to work from,” the operator said.

A Roy Sebastian said putting dispatchers at the ports and not putting power into their hands is not making much sense. He said taxi drivers at all ports of entry are usually well organised but there are times when confusion arises and even spoke of an incident where two drivers were engaged in a heated argument and that the police had to be called. “Let the taxi drivers, who are not expecting guests go at the taxi stands, and give the dispatcher a whistle or a conch shell and blow when it is their turn. If that is not done another 50% of inland tourists would be lost.”

Another taxi operator noted that Port Authority officials should not interfere in the work of the taxi and livery operators while another spoke of the dire need for improved washroom facilities at the beaches especially at Cane Garden Bay. The issue of parking and congestion on Main Street was also highlighted, which they said, affected historical tours.

Hon. Vanterpool said his Ministry is in discussions about Main Street and whether it would be just a pedestrian street or a no parking street and that the issue of improved lighting is also being looked at.

One taxi driver complained about the amount of boats, old vehicles and trailers that are parked on street corners and said Government must exercise some control over that to which Minister Vanterpool said it was one of the most disgusting experiences that he has as Minister and agreed that something needed to be done about it.

9 Responses to “Second plate for taxi drivers! ”

  • critic (21/03/2012, 08:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this means that we will see more taxis on the road now...more islandmen/phillipinoes will be hired as taxi drivers now....mark my words
    • Right U R (21/03/2012, 16:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      As it is right now it is against the law, but soon they will be complaining and asking Mark to change the law. Who is watching the store? Poor BVI.
  • queen bee (21/03/2012, 08:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    at least Mark Vanterpool listens..but he must not rush to do eveything the taxi men dem wants...he got to be careful and find out why certain polices were put in place.
  • who he (21/03/2012, 09:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    look at that seabastian..Yaawn
    • insider (21/03/2012, 12:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      yea he got what he wanted out of Fraser but still work to cut his a$$!
  • Music (21/03/2012, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Crabs in a barrel!
  • Crooked People (21/03/2012, 16:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody is fooling somebody, as far as I know, any taxi operator who wanted a second plate, as long as they wrote the former minister and made their case (the same case they now have to make to the CDMV), they got the 2nd plate. They just looking for everything to be handed to them. These people are so greedy, that they forget that these rules are in place to protect them. When all these plates are out there, the market gets flooded, and there wont be enough fares to go around. Soon they will realize it, and will be looking to the next government to change it. Ask Sebastian if the Taxi men in West End are letting him taxi with his S Plates. I bet Rasheed and Bouncer eat him alive.
  • sleep little baby don't you cry (21/03/2012, 23:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    taxi men are like farmers always fussing about something...half of them was sleeping through the meeting.
  • Observer (23/03/2012, 08:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Fraser, You tell them! And don't pay attention to the distractors who either do not know the rules of the House, or wish to change all the rules and do as they want. It is a good thing that the Speaker of the House is fair (it seems) and not calling in favour of the other side all the time. When she makes her rulings she quotes the supporting rule from Standing Orders. Seems like some members need a workshop on how to conduct business in the House.

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