Taxi association says tourists are driving down rates

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While he admitted that the season was going well, the president of the St John’s Taxi Association has pointed to taxi operators haggling with tourists as one reason why taxicab earnings are declining.

Evanson Ellis told OBSERVER media, “For example, you may give them a price of a dollar and they’ll ask you ‘what about 75 cents?’ So you have to know if 75 cents can make your day… but we can’t be vexed with them for bidding us down.”

He added that, “outside drivers are offering transportation at cheaper rates, forcing taxi association members to accept whatever price to which a tourist may haggle them down … we have to just bend and go”.

When asked how the season was progressing otherwise, Ellis replied, “So far I don’t think it’s going badly at all. We get a lot of ships, but it is just that sometimes the strength of the money from passengers is not really there.”

He estimated that when passengers disembark a docked vessel, on average 45 per cent of those who disembark make use of taxi services. However he added that business also fluctuates “depending on the ship”.

“There’s one by the name of Viking Star which does pretty well for the tour buses … it’s a very good ship for us,” he said.

OBSERVER had originally reached out to the association to learn whether reports of protests by taxi operators were true.

The president said he was not aware of such nor had the association met on or sanctioned such activity.

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