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Price gouging by some taxi drivers in Trinidad
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Price gouging by some taxi drivers in Trinidad

The government in Trinidad cannot enforce price cuts for some taxi drivers who have doubled their fares in parts of Trinidad due to COVID 19 restrictions on social gatherings.

It is from the point of view of the secretary of national security, Stuart Young, who yesterday told journalists at a press conference in the port of Spain that taxi fares are expected to increase with the reduction of the vehicle’s ability to stop the spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of the week.

Young said rates have increased in other parts of the world following the introduction of similar restrictions at social gatherings. As a result, the decision was made to go to the public.

“This is something that we believe can happen,” he said.

“Regulations stipulate that people who provide public transportation in a motorized vehicle cannot transport more than half of the passengers for whom the vehicle is registered. We are trying to reduce the potential spread of this virus. It is the same thing we have seen in other places”. For example, some supermarkets are increasing the price of hand sanitizers, “he said.

“Ultimately, it’s the traveling public … Unfortunately, if you have to travel, this is one of the consequences. This type of measure has not only led to this effect here in Trinidad.” It is produced in other countries of the world. We really ask people to be socially responsible, “he said.

La Romaine’s taxi drivers association began distributing flyers over the weekend, announcing a $ 4 price increase on all routes on social media. Commuters now must pay $ 10 for transportation between San Fernando and La Romaine and $ 15 for transportation to each side street.

A representative of the association, who spoke to Express yesterday, said the sharp rise in prices was a necessary but temporary measure to allow taxi drivers to stay afloat during the economic crisis.

“I don’t know why people react this way. Sometimes, as taxi drivers, we stay on the stand for hours to receive even a few passengers. We assume that ‘first come, first served.’ We have to take care of families and put ourselves in danger. that those who consider themselves essential can move from one place to another, “he said.

“This is only temporary, we are limited to two passengers per trip. We have to wait for hours to earn $ 20, but we do it because we have to earn a living and take people from one place to another,” he said.

Other drivers reportedly took similar steps. A suburb told Express that the prices for the short jumps between San Fernando and Penal had doubled when the order went into effect.

When a quick trip from San Fernando to Retrench costs $ 8, a fee of $ 20 per person is charged. According to this traveler, the police no longer allowed private rental vehicles to work.

“I just rented a car to go home. The police eliminate all PH drivers that they see on the street. Only PH drivers work for me, so that my daily commute is not subject to pressure because they respect the law and they only use 50% of the vehicle’s capacity, and I only drove a punishment vehicle with myself and with someone else, “he said.

However, not all prices were changed because some associations expressed solidarity with the traveling public. The president of the Spanish port of the Curepe / Tunapuna Association, Hayden Whiskey, told L’Express that prices within its members should not increase.

“At the club, we will not use this as an excuse to take advantage of our fellow human beings. This is what we can do for our country and, as such, we are not raising our tariffs to facilitate social distance. However, there are pilots who are not members of our club and over whom we have no control. All of our registered drivers have a green fee, “he said.

“It is not about what your country can do for you, but what you are ready to do for your fellow men. You have to understand that it is a risk. There are people who advance the country and I have to go from A to B So You have to ask yourself: Am I my brother’s keeper? “Whiskey said.

In addition, members of the Princes Town Taxi Association indicated that no price increases were expected at that time. However, members of this group said the risk of being fined $ 5,000 for transporting three passengers instead of two passengers was a risk they wanted to take.

“We are trying to feed our families and live honestly. Carrying two passengers would not make sense, so some might take three. However, there will be no price increase this time, “said a taxi driver.

Taxis without price increases include those in Cocoyea / Ste Madeleine, those in Pleasantville, those in Marabella / San Fernando and those in Princes Town / New Grant.

However, this may change in the future, as some have shared the “Let’s see how it goes” sentiment.

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– Source: Khamarie Rodriguez –




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Keep Taxis Alive Organization (KeepTaxisAlive.Org) was founded to empower taxi drivers worldwide and keep the taxi industry alive. It is a platform the taxi drivers’ community can use to shed a light on the danger faces the public and the taxi industry all around the world from unregulated ride share providers, especially UBER. We invite all taxi drivers to be part of our community and voice out their thoughts on our platform and share their ideas on how to improve our industry and Keep Taxis Alive.


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