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Works Minister protects privacy of taxi drivers in HoA

- said 103 taxi licences issued from 2019-2024 across all districts
Persons wishing to be a taxi drivers in the Virgin Islands (VI) must be either a Belanger of a Virgin islander according to information provided to the House of Assembly. Photo: Internet Source/File
The Minister pointed out the house has a time-honoured tradition of not arbitrarily calling the names of members of the public and that is partly because they do not have the privileges that we, as Members of this House possess. Photo: HoA/File
The Minister pointed out the house has a time-honoured tradition of not arbitrarily calling the names of members of the public and that is partly because they do not have the privileges that we, as Members of this House possess. Photo: HoA/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Communications and Works Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) has opted not to publicly disclose the names and addresses of persons holding taxi licenses in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI), as he believes it would have been unfair to the license holders to do so and that it would also trample on their right to privacy.

The Minister pointed out; however, that the house has a time-honoured tradition of not arbitrarily calling the names of members of the public and that is partly because "they do not have the privileges that we, as Members of this House, possess.

“Secondly, they do not have a platform here to defend themselves. That is why we are their representatives.
That said, Madam Speaker, I do believe it is unfair to the public, to give not only their names in this public forum in answer to the Member's question but also supply
 addresses,” he added.

Hon Rymer said; however, as per standing order 18, subsection 6, there is an option to decline to answer a question if it is deemed contrary to the public's interest to disclose the names of individuals.

103 taxi licenses issued since 2019

“Notwithstanding that, I am here to answer Members' questions and I will do so in the most responsible manner that I can. I would like to assure the member, that to obtain a taxi license, an individual must have a minimum of 2 years of driving experience,” he added.

He said that means in some cases, a 20-vear-old individual can be eligible for a taxi license and, additionally, it is a requirement that the individual is a BVI-islander or Belonger.

Hon Rymer also disclosed that 103 taxi licences were issued from 2019-2024 across all districts.

Although taxi drivers can be as young as 20 years old, just 2 are in the 20-25 category. The majority of applicants (31) are in the 26-36 age range. 32 individuals are in the 37-47 age range and 22 in the 48-58 age range.

In answering the question, the minister added that he hoped his colleagues could agree that it is "important that we protect the individual's privacy in the House."

20 Responses to “Works Minister protects privacy of taxi drivers in HoA”

  • Hmm (09/05/2024, 09:33) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    " additionally, it is a requirement that the individual is a BVI-islander or Belonger."

    YET there is no special price for locals. Protected to charge tourist and locals the same price. $30 a ride.

    Privacy is important yet there should be a list of names and optionally a work contact number. We dont need to know where they live.

    When entering a taxi the driver shows their ID card, if you walk with the list and the driver is not on there don't get in. How do we know the taxi is safe if the drivers are anonymous?

    What is the point of a license otherwise... for control or for the people?
    • @hmmmm (10/05/2024, 07:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Here in a foreign they have their name and pic posted so the passenger can see who the driver is
  • Buying votes (09/05/2024, 09:36) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Surprised the taxi drivers weren’t included in the great Head coach social security cash giveaway , although they probably claimed to fish and farm on the weekends .
  • Thanks (09/05/2024, 09:38) Like (3) Dislike (18) Reply
    Mr Rymer for the protection of our rights to privacy
    • @THANKS (09/05/2024, 10:22) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      but you are looking for the public to use their funds to pay you for your public transport service. Interesting.
  • smh (09/05/2024, 09:43) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    SECRECY is synonymous with CORRUPTION! Nothing should be secret when you're spending government funds! We need to know and approve of how the people's monies are spent. We must hold them all accountable, else we are no better!
  • Retirement (09/05/2024, 09:55) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    And what age do all the granddaddy's retire? Many of those old taxi drivers are a danger to themselves, their customers and other road users. Needs to be a compulsory medical at 60 with proper sight test conducted by an ophthalmologist. This lucrative profession is dominated by surly drivers, with death-trap vehicles who rip off visitors. Please read Trip Advisor reviews - the word is out and Nature's Little Secret gets a bad rap.
    • @Retirement (09/05/2024, 10:45) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      What is wrong with you, young people today with the thought of getting old? The granddaddies will retire when they are good and ready. If you are not aging, you are dead, my dear. And if you ask me, the young people that are taking over everything in this world, from Government down don't know jack or not interested in jack! You live for the moment and cannot see tomorrow, let alone next month. So be respectful.
  • Wink, wink (09/05/2024, 10:02) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    He saying, he give out a few that dont deserve. If they deserve, there should be no problem. He only protecting himself
  • Bad question (09/05/2024, 10:17) Like (23) Dislike (5) Reply
    I would have asked. Can we see the list of all Taxi license granted or approved in the past 3 yrs. Every body r almost every body knows every body in this place, once you see the name you know where that person living, how old they are and who they are related to. I agree with Kye not to answer that question. The way it was put was dumb.
  • Lb (09/05/2024, 11:46) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    You mean he is protecting himself from scrutiny when people see that it is all of his friends and 5th district people who he give licenses to. And deny a bunch of other qualified people!
  • Interested (09/05/2024, 11:48) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Who is he really protecting? All the civil servants who are operating taxis when they should be working?
    The ones who collect round trip fares from passengers and then leave them on the beach to fend for themselves and pay double while they return to their desk jobs? Who exactly is he protecting? Do we need another COI ?
    I see a trend beginning with the members of government not to answer questions in the HOA that they deem not in the public interest.
    My people watch the game.
  • lodger (09/05/2024, 12:50) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    Smurf wanted to show that kye had only given taxi licenses to his 5 district but he got egg on his face that's why smurf will never be the premier he wicked
  • jack@$$ (09/05/2024, 13:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want one.
  • Stealth (09/05/2024, 13:30) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is an unbelievable story,, for there is no privacy.. It is in the public interest to know who is licensed to fully operate in the territory, protecting the public from !gypsy’ operators. Does the public needs to know who and which lawyers are authorized to practice law in the VI? Does the public needs to know who and which doctor, therapist, physician assistant, psychiatrist, psychologist , etc., is authorized to practice in the VI? Does the public need to know who and which electrician or plumber is licensed to practice in the VI? Does the public needs to know who and which teachers meet the minimum requirement to teach in the VI? Does the public needs to know about the background, history , etc of people who apply to serve as police officers, etc? Is the Minister trying to put a bushel over the lamp? Let the light shine, let her shine. Transparency is the best sunlight. Furthermore , does the public need to know be reminded that legislators received a sizable allocation to reside in their own home while other civil servants who have long-service don’t?
  • bvibuzz (09/05/2024, 15:04) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Them only looking news to drag people name through the mud we agreed with minister kye 100%
  • BuzzBvi (09/05/2024, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pretty sure all taxi drivers both farm and fish.
  • Interesting (09/05/2024, 19:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow, 20 year old geting a taxi lic. Guess we have no standards
  • PASSENGER (10/05/2024, 16:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    will that also protect the ones who still have my posessions that haven't been handed over to my friend in Tortola?
    I'm glad I met others who drive taxi who were great. Appreciate them. But don't protect criminals please.
    There have been enough shootings. Good day.
  • hold (10/05/2024, 21:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do you expect anything better. It's a sad state in this territory if he would stop listening to the misses and do what is right these questions would not have to come to the HOA.

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