Combined effort needed to address unauthorised taxi drivers at airport

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By Shermain Bique-Charles

[email protected]

It will take a combined effort to address the problem of unauthorised taxi drivers operating at the airport, says Airport Authority CEO Euletta Francis.

The United Taxi Company (UTC) is the entity authorised to transport passengers from VC Bird International Airport to their respective destinations.

Over the years they have complained of direct competition from other taxi drivers who are not part of the body and therefore not eligible to do airport pick-ups.

UTC members blame airport authorities and police for a lack of enforcement.

On Wednesday, UTC President Ian Joseph said they will enlist assistance from the wider Public Transport Union to address the problem.

However, Francis told Observer yesterday the matter is rather more complex.

“We recognise a problem exists but police cannot walk up to someone holding up a pick-up sign and assume that this person is pirating,” she explained.

Francis said, while the taxi company does have a contractual arrangement with the Airport Authority, the ground transportation model has evolved with more and more people entering the market.

“Ground transportation is a key element of our tourism product and we can’t afford for the ground transportation element to start affecting the passenger experience. The UTC is just one player within the realm of the entire ground transportation,” Francis added.

According to her, the authority has developed a draft model to deal with ground transportation which was supported by members of the UTC.

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