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‘We are now being blocked from making money’- Taxi driver

- mixed reaction as Premier Smith cancels 2 cruise ship calls
One of the Norwegian Cruise Line ships was scheduled to make a call to the Virgin Islands this week on August 16, 2017 but was cancelled by Government due to the state of the Territory following the tropical wave on August 7, 2017. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith's decision to cancel two cruise ship calls to the Virgin Islands this week has been met with mixed reactions. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith's decision to cancel two cruise ship calls to the Virgin Islands this week has been met with mixed reactions. Photo: VINO/File
A damaged section of the road on Joe's Hill. Taxi drivers frequent this road to take tourists to Cane Garden Bay. Photo: VINO
A damaged section of the road on Joe's Hill. Taxi drivers frequent this road to take tourists to Cane Garden Bay. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola VI - Residents and those in the taxi and livery industry have expressed mixed reaction to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith's (AL) decision to cancel two cruise ship calls previously scheduled for this week.

Popular commentator Julio "Sam" Henry is one in agreement, describing the decision of Premier Smith as "a good move from a leader and safety stand point."

According to Mr Henry, his understanding is that the decision was made cognisant of the state of at least two majors roads frequently used to access tour sites and some of the main beaches, the Joe's Hill, Huntums Ghut and Fort Hill roads.

"I think it was a wise move in the name of safety for the cruise passengers because some of those guys will still try to go up those hill/road knowing very well the risks because those roads are still in very bad shape," said Mr Henry.

‘We were prepared’

But there are those who beg to differ. "We suffer major loses in our homes, offices and business places. We know that the two ships are to come so we prepared ourselves to be ready because we need the money now to start getting back on our feet to call of the ships is selfish in my view. That's all I will say," commented one taxi bus operator.

Another said there are mechanisms that could have been simply put in place to prevent tour and operators from using certain routes.

"The beaches aren't the problem, using certain access roads is the problem and there are some simple orders that could be put in place so we don't use those routes with the tourists. The recovery process involves us being able to make money and we are now being blocked from making money. That is weird in my view."

Careful consideration & consultation

Premier Smith in a statement late Friday, August 11, 2017 said the Government of the Virgin Islands after careful consideration and consultation with the Recovery Advisory Group and industry stakeholders determined that two cruise ship calls scheduled for August 15 and 16 would not take place.

“While the Territory is open for business following the rains on Monday, cleanup and recovery efforts continue to address damage to critical infrastructure in the short-term while continuing the long-term strategy of upgrading key infrastructure throughout the Territory. After considering the volume of visitors expected from the calls, we agreed that our infrastructure, key attractions and beaches needed additional time for full restoration.”

“We look forward to welcoming the ships back to our shores on their next calls scheduled for August 29 and 30,” Premier Smith added.

Premier Smith has already been put on blast for refusing disaster relief from the United Kingdom vessel, RFA Mounts Bay, which is currently in the region.

45 Responses to “‘We are now being blocked from making money’- Taxi driver”

  • voter (13/08/2017, 10:48) Like (17) Dislike (29) Reply
    This man is a real mo mo
    • Rez (13/08/2017, 14:26) Like (60) Dislike (0) Reply
      This was a good move by government. Bringing tourists here would sure be a accident waiting to happen, plus this place looks so bad now. Do we really want tourists taking pictures now making others believe this is the way it always is, and never come back? We have to get fixed first before bringing others here. The Taxi Drivers know our seasons when the hurricanes, rain and floods happen. They have to be frugal with their money so they can have it during times like this. Common Sense.
      • thank you (13/08/2017, 16:37) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Rez, Thank You. I feel the same way also. Bringing in tourist this week is a few accidents waiting to happen.
    • Clarity (13/08/2017, 14:37) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
      You mean the taxi driver, right?
    • @voter (15/08/2017, 12:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Put your real name and call him that publicly..#coward #cyberbully
  • bvi first (13/08/2017, 10:50) Like (67) Dislike (13) Reply
    Great decision Doctor Smith. Signs of a true leader! Those greedy short sighted retiree taxi man are only worried about their own pockets and not the impact that an accident on these bad roads, with a bus full of tourists, could have permanently on Tourism. The same tourism that feeds them year round. Also the ships are returning on August 29th. So stop the darned whining like little children and grow up. Put the country first! Glad to hear Sam stand up and support the decision too. Kudos!
    • @ bvi first (13/08/2017, 11:14) Like (10) Dislike (42) Reply
      please go sit down with your paid blog crap we going deal with you all at the polls
  • wize up (13/08/2017, 10:54) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply!!!! over the wellbeing of others: that piece of paper name money(pass by the Church and give your Heavenly Father the Glory you are yet alive following the rains)....not some of we(the roads bad but rather take a chance and risk life for a few dollars more)
  • My girl (13/08/2017, 11:14) Like (6) Dislike (63) Reply
    this is such silly decision by the Premier SMH
    • @Jack I agree (13/08/2017, 11:59) Like (0) Dislike (50) Reply
      Everything was done so hastily.. Like this is the first time rain fall heavy and the place flood.. So every time rain fall and the place flood or wind blow and trees blow down. We cancel everything... Life goes on. We can't stop life. We can't stop tomorrow. Those two ships will find another port and maybe we may lose them for good... Festival should have continue last weekend... Friday and Saturday... Now everyone over- reacting..
      • tell (13/08/2017, 15:20) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
        Since you have so much advice regarding losing sips for good, tell us, how can we lose you for good?
    • Why (13/08/2017, 15:07) Like (30) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why is it silly, is risking the safety of others not important. Is not the deaths of prior accidents still not fresh in your mind. Do you know that taking stupid chances can make one liable? Do you realize a lot of those taxis only have 2 wheel drive? Has money become do important over lives and restoration? We can barely make it work properly in certain areas, more traffic on the muddy sewage roads with people walking in that much is not a good impression. If you went away, would you want to tour a flood ravished countr, much less take a chance on bad roads? Come on proactive over reactive and if he allowed it and something had happened, you would be up here cussing the man stink for allowing the tourists to come. Hypocrite.
  • BVI resident (13/08/2017, 11:21) Like (55) Dislike (1) Reply
    the one who disagrees must be uneducated. Carry the tourist on the damaged roads and something happens God forbid and tell who they will blame. The idiocy of some folks. Geez..
    • Jones (13/08/2017, 13:59) Like (3) Dislike (22) Reply
      You dont need to carry them to CGB or Brewers. Carry them on the flat road to Long Bay West End or even to Long Bay Beef Island. Limit the number of excursions. Allow the people to still go sailing, diving and visiting the other islands like they usually do. The Pier Park is fully operational, tourist board could put some extra staff on to advise persons of where to go and where not to. This did not need to happen and people who rely on the few ships (less than was promised) to put some bread on the table.

      And we still have the rest of Sunday and Monday to keep clearing the roads, which are being done very well so far.
  • ccc (13/08/2017, 11:38) Like (0) Dislike (47) Reply
    typically NDP they must have their pocket filled with money and the rest of us must go hungry
  • Bad Decision (13/08/2017, 11:48) Like (0) Dislike (39) Reply
    Most tourist only heard of Storm. Lots of them would have glad for the experience. They would be taking so many pictures of the damages take them back to their friends and families and say this is what rain storm did in the BVI.....Wow...
  • Selfish Taxi (13/08/2017, 11:55) Like (38) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a bunch of greedy, selfish b*stards! Perhaps some of the roads may be undermined from all of the water coming down the hills. Let the engineers do their job this week and make sure! You aren't gonna go broke over 2 ships!! Good decision by the govt!
    • Really? (13/08/2017, 14:02) Like (0) Dislike (25) Reply
      Is it only taxi's that make money from cruise ships? not to mention the $15 X 6000 in head tax that can go to help pay for some of this damage
  • E. Leonard (13/08/2017, 11:55) Like (46) Dislike (0) Reply
    Premier made a sound public health and safety decision and judgment on cancelling the two cruise ships visit. Protecting life, safety..........etc must take precedence over other issues. The territory is in the midst of a recovery effort from a historic and disastrous weather event and may not be ready for cruise ship visits. Moreover, the decision supports and protects tourism, the work horse of the BVI economy, protecting the health, safety, well-being and experience of visitors. Long-term interest must trump short-term interest. The decision is in the best long-term interest of transportation providers. The short-term loss though painful will yield and sustain longer-term benefits.
    • RealPol (14/08/2017, 09:06) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Real talk. The quality and sustainability of the tourism product must be protected. Exposing tourists to unnecessary risks is not protecting the tourism industry. Image, optics and quality of attractions are vital to the industry's survival and growth. Policy makers must consider the weeds and the forest. Cannot focus totally on the weeds when the forest is ablazed. The territory's recovery effort is a collective effort. Decisions must be made for the greater good. E. Leonard called tourism the workhorse of the BVI economy. Tru dat. Let's protect it. The Premier made a tough but right call on cancelling the cruise ship calls. On the other hand, declining the UK's ship offer to help though well intended was short sighted. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • facts (13/08/2017, 12:13) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply
    The best decision was made and any leader with sense would have done the same.the few bloggers are not going to change the next election outcome.this present government is going to be there for another two terms. Just look at the margin they won the last election by.i am not a paid blogger am only stating what would happen.all my years of living in this country I had never seen another government done so much in such short space of time.continue the good work for the country Mr Premier and other representatives .thank you
  • Vannity (13/08/2017, 12:21) Like (39) Dislike (1) Reply
    The country is in a state of a natural disaster, you can't walk through town property, you have to cover your nose b4 you get strangled from the dust from dry mud. Yet this Taxi driver balding bout not making money. Just pure greed by this guy. The Premier is right to cancel the ships, idiots we are.
  • Yes (13/08/2017, 12:39) Like (2) Dislike (30) Reply
    doc chased all ships
  • bvi (13/08/2017, 12:56) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    That was a good move Doc.
  • bad (13/08/2017, 13:20) Like (30) Dislike (0) Reply
    Half you all taxis men need to learn how to talk to People and our tourist instead of hogging up people some of you or down right dam pigs
  • Awesome (13/08/2017, 13:54) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    All of you greedy taxi men .The Lord shall supply all your needs and not all your greed
  • confused (13/08/2017, 13:54) Like (27) Dislike (2) Reply
    Explain to me where in the hell they plan to take these tourists in all this gunk. When those ppl get off that ship they would be so flabbergasted at the condition of Road Town. Even CGB which was relatively untouched, looks a mess in certain areas. It's dusty and muddy everywhere. What is wrong with people? Chupz
    • Meli (14/08/2017, 00:51) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      Those taxi drivers who are complaining simply have no pride. They sound like people who would invite guests to their own dirty house and don't think to clean first.
  • Sigh (13/08/2017, 14:39) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Lord shall supply u all needs and not u all greed
  • Political Observer (PO) (13/08/2017, 14:45) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pure greed and selfishness. Personal greed and selfishness are clouding the judgement of taxi drivers. The Premier in this instance acted in the national interested. The decision was sound and well vetted. What is more important putting a few dollars in some taxi drivers pocket or the life, health and safety of visitors? The choice is clear. Life, health and safety should be placed ahead of individuals need. Tourism has contributed and is contributing to the BVI's growth, development and sustainability and it must be protected. Imagine the damage that could be done to tourism, standard of living and quality of life due to poor decision making and lack of sound judgment. We must pron
  • foy (13/08/2017, 15:27) Like (0) Dislike (13) Reply
    every decision done is a mistake by this gang
  • here we go again (13/08/2017, 23:00) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc made the right move. These bunch of greedy, unprofessional Taxi drivers is willing to throw the tourist under the bus for a few dollars.
  • laughing (13/08/2017, 23:05) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    We are now blocked from making money. Laughing, how are you blocked from making money Mr. Taxi man?
  • de silent one (14/08/2017, 06:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's what it's all about been a leader, making tough and unpopular decisions at times. Having the cruise ship cancelled was the right thing to do. The country is definitely are not in any state to accommodate visitors. The taxi operators have the entire season ahead to make money, a bunch of greedy folks.
  • wow (14/08/2017, 09:04) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Man people just need to hush and give jack his jack when he respectfully earned it ! It was the right thing to do we don't need any more risk! Cause if a accident do happen with one of these bus drivers while carrying the tourists to different locations they woulda say " we don't have good a leader because they see how the island is and still allow people to come in and put us at more risk" smh can't please the human mind at all.
  • Hmmmm (14/08/2017, 16:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What the BVI needs is adult supervision. Adopted from a quote from Barack Obama.
  • great move (14/08/2017, 20:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good move don't mind the noise
  • 911 (14/08/2017, 21:47) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply

    You know the Premier had to be dragged kicking and screaming to that teleprompter.
  • True (15/08/2017, 11:53) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    It's amazing to see how easily people can be fooled. Because he was out there helping with the cleanup everyone seems to forget the nonsense this man been doing with this country. Well done people.
  • zoe (16/08/2017, 23:28) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    taxi men is last on the list , we are not fooled
  • 1 (17/08/2017, 22:17) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    There will always be evil.

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