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Taxi drivers continue to feel ‘shafted’ over cancelled cruise ships

- argue that nothing will be different on Aug 29 & 30, 2017 when two ships are due to arrive
Two cruise ships in the Territory back in November 2015. The cancellation of two cruise ships to the territory this week by Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is still not resting well with local taxi and livery operators. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) continues to be blasted by taxi and livery operators for cancelling two cruise ship calls to the Territory this week. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) continues to be blasted by taxi and livery operators for cancelling two cruise ship calls to the Territory this week. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - "What will be different on the 29th and 30th August than the 15th and 16th of August," a question several taxi drivers are seeking answer for as it relates to the Premier's recent decision to cancel two cruise ship calls to the territory.

This was the topic of discussion among a few taxi and livery operators as they converged at a popular shop close to the Road Town Ferry Dock in the presence of one of our reporters.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) had cancelled two cruise ship calls scheduled for this week due to the effects on the territory of a tropical wave and flash flooding on August 7 and 8, 2017.

Popular commentator and taxi driver Julio "Sam" Henry had describe the decision of Premier Smith as "a good move from a leader and safety stand point."

But not all taxi and livery operators are seeing eye to eye with Premier Smith and Mr Henry.

While requesting to have their concerns highlighted on our news site, the taxi and livery operators begged not to have their identities made public.

"Miss you know how it is here you get beat down if you share an opinion or thought that is not for the doctor... sing Boss don't disrespect the Doc,” one said in a burst of laughter and supported by the others.

Nothing has changed

But they all returned to a serious note, stating that from their assessment nothing has or will change by the time the next two calls reach the territory.

According to one, who was the lead speaker, "Follow me, other than the beaches, the next congested areas for the tourist here is Road Town where they flock Main Street, Cruise Pier Park, a little in Craft’s Alive and the big bulk goes to Virgin Gorda, and I must tell you that Virgin Gorda well ready from day one."

He continued, "Why we say the ship should have never been cancelled is to us, cause I speaking for my colleagues here too, to us the mud and dust in road town and the flooded shops were the big concern in my mind to the Premier and that was fully handled before the 15th…He the premier, his wife and their rotary people self were out in the street cleaning the Saturday before. Monday the place was bright and cleaner. Tuesday was 15th now tell me nah!"

Some beaches & roads still not fixed

The men, with one female among them, also expressed that several of the beaches, including that at Brewer’s Bay, are still and will not be fixed before the end of August.

"It’s impossible for them to be fixed by then especially with all this rain we still getting, no I say emphatically, they will not be fixed by then."

"Now let's talk roads will Hill Road be fixed? Will Fort Hill road be fixed? Will that massive gully and road breakaway at Huntums Ghut highway be fixed? Will East End road be fixed? Will country road be fixed? The answer to all of them is a fat no."

Emphasising that there will hardly be a difference in the condition of some of the beaches and roads by month end, the taxi and livery operators said the move by Premier Smith to cancel two cruise ships to the territory this week was a hasty decision and a blow to them when they needed the money the most.

"So we are asking what will be the difference? I will tell you what will be the difference, we premier put a **** up we *** in a time when we need money the most. Don't bother with Sam, he bread well buttered… cancelling those two ships was a big blunder and poor decision."

23 Responses to “Taxi drivers continue to feel ‘shafted’ over cancelled cruise ships”

  • TPP (18/08/2017, 10:11) Like (2) Dislike (27) Reply
    Not just them , the tenants of the part feel it more we have to pay rent (no slow season brakes)
    • the rock (19/08/2017, 08:52) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      why don't the taxi men get together and come out and help clean the hills--great mountain and joe's hill that they use when the ships are inn, give back to what give's you and stop complaining, if the taxi men weren't so greedy when the roads are good, u think the government will let them drive on the bad roads to put the tourist life more in danger!
  • Mr zzzzzzzz (18/08/2017, 10:18) Like (4) Dislike (18) Reply
    The man seems like he hates ships, ndp must go
  • Observer (18/08/2017, 10:41) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
    The premier did the right thing I'm a driver also and we must all learn to put country first and consider the safety of those we serve.
  • musa (18/08/2017, 10:58) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    the premier is the bass and he have all my support of taking care of our guest
  • Hmm (18/08/2017, 11:03) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    Maybe because Dr. Smith felt that taxi drivers, like other BVIslanders, should be devoting their efforts to cleaning up the place since he decided to turn down UK Navy's offer.
  • NO PEAS (18/08/2017, 11:21) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    What will be different? At least an assessment of the road network would have been done to determine safety. Some roads were undermined by the heavy rains and have to be inspected. While there maybe no visible improvements we agree, and anything could still happen. Look this has nothing to do with any "P" but the right decision was made. If the ships were allowed to come and one of these vehicles had an accident which was deemed to have been caused by an undermined road or something related to the floods the Government would have been heavily criticized for allowing this to happen. All that I am hearing about is the money that was supposedly lost what about the lives that may have been saved by this decision?
  • island man (18/08/2017, 11:21) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
    Why BVIslander are so selfish and greedy. Didn't you all access the damage that was done by the rain? Didn't you people see the condition of the roads? Do you really believe it was safe to transport visitors? For a few dollars more in your pockets you are willing to risk lives. A sorry for some of you with the greed and self-centeredness portrayed.
    • reality (18/08/2017, 13:31) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      Non BVIslanders drive taxi/tour busses too. They have lived here long enough to get their status. What I cant understand is why a taxi driver seems to think he/she cannot survive if the ship didn't come this week. Suppose the ships had mechanical problems and couldn't come? Would they blame this on the government? Come on taxi drivers!!! You all should have done the course Tourist Board facilitated with Disney and the first and most important rule for the Tourist Board and Disney is SAFETY FIRST!!!! Next course Tourist Board needs to do for taxi drivers is "UNDERSTANDING THE CRUISE BUSINESS" Maybe then they will really understand why the ships had to be cancelled.
  • I never understood($wag) (18/08/2017, 12:21) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    It makes no sense to have a slow season during the summer..poor leadership decisions which only benefit the decision makers and not the economy...or the ppl who rely on tourism....and theres alot who do clearly
    • anegada (19/08/2017, 10:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Well... no one close the slow season..
      It closes itself. My family depends on the tourist season...
      As a owner of a gift shop.. I well know.. And speaking from experience for over 20 years now.
      The few tourist that pass by now, don't or can't afford to spend any kind of money.
      The winter season is the time ... and from passed experiences... you better save for these slower months..
      No need to complain.
      Every year we know this time coming.
      Yes I know that at this time of the year it is hard not to have any income coming in for about 3 months... Conch and lobster season closes till November.
  • Im not (18/08/2017, 13:08) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    I'm not support to cancel the ships... Every bad situation is a new experience... Tourist are not stupid, they will understand...
  • No it was not (18/08/2017, 13:12) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    You greedy taxi drivers is acting like 2 cruise ship that was canceled was going to put a years salary in your pockets. Yes, Doc made the right move. You all are just angry because you did not get a chance to fleece the unsuspecting tourist out of their money. I made the mistake of taking a taxi from West End to Sea Cows Bay and I had to pay $30.00. The driver was angry because I did not tip him. The fare was only worth $10.00. These taxi drivers should be made to install meters in their taxis. I wish someone would start a UBER service.
    • Correct (18/08/2017, 20:12) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      UBER comes to the BVI, I will never use the local cabs. Most of the cab drivers here are just plain rude, unprofessional and scammers. If you are not from here, they will charge you a arm and a leg just to ride a few blocks.
  • Get it (18/08/2017, 13:35) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Know the cruise business!! The majority of the ships go to the Meditteranean in the summer months. And with all the storms lined up this is why we traditionally have a slow season.
  • Political Observer(PO) (18/08/2017, 13:52) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Premier made the right decision in cancelling the two port calls; turning down help from UK ship Mount Bay is another tory altogether. Public health and safety must take precedence over all else. It is life first, then safety, property......,etc. The decision protected life and the tourism industry. I'm assuming that the descision was made based on the information available at the time. Since that time more information is available for decision support. Imagine the headline: Tourists injured in an Incident on a Failure Road Resulting from Heavy Rain on 07 Aug 17. The follow up ? would be: Did the MCW exercised sound judgement in permitting buses to travel the failed roads without getting an all clear from civil engineers at Public Works would be the big question. Public health and safety first.
  • Mark (18/08/2017, 15:16) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Premier did the right thing. It do not always have to be about making money, its ensuring that our guest are well taken care of. In era we are in with technology that would not be good PR for the country if these same guest start taking pics and post on social media firsts thing people will say that is the way in which we live. Secondly the government would have been held liable if anything happens to one of those buses on the roads in the current state. That is what kill this country that cancer calls greed.
  • OH MY GOSH (18/08/2017, 16:24) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    You guys are really acting like a bunch of thirsty fools. It is beginning to crank my nerves. If you need money, go and pack bags at the grocery store until the ships come back. You all are acting like you can't survive without the Cruise Ships.
  • save (18/08/2017, 19:27) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    We complain to much. Our parents taught us well put away something for the wet day. Doc did the best thing and stop trying to force the hand of God you may not like the outcome. Think safety not want. Save a dollar a day end of year you have 365 that can help pay a bill think about it just an example.
  • please (18/08/2017, 19:27) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    These taxi drivers are too selfish and self centered. I wonder how many of the same hard back men chipped in to help clean up Road Town last week so that the place could look a wee bit presentable for the hoards of cruise ship visitors they wanted to have come here this week? I am willing to bet not one of them. The place has been cleaned up a bit thanks to the Rotarians and others but it is still extremely dusty, there is still a lot of mud, gunk, debris and trash around and the roads they hoped to drive their passengers on are atrocious to say the least. What would be the point of bringing visitors here to see the BVI in this state? All they are concerned about is money. Well go moonlight somewhere until things get better instead of standing around complaining. Do your part to help with the clean up on the island. It doesn't get done by itself!
  • musa (18/08/2017, 22:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    musa start and the rest comment back me up thanks./././.
  • Blind Man (19/08/2017, 01:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo see any taximan cleaning up?
  • cancell (20/08/2017, 14:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do the same for those two Tuesday and Wednesday too. Island not ready until next two weeks. Doc go back to the drawing board again who vex vex safety first. We not ready Doc


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