Passengers protest taxi-fare increase
Robot-taxi operators who transport residents from Prosper, Golden Grove, and neighbouring communities in Hanover are blaming the poor road conditions and the steady increase in gas prices for their decision to impose a fare increase on their passengers since last Monday.
Commuters say they were caught off guard on the first day of the new school year when the taxi operators, mostly of robot taxis, started to demand a more than 50 per cent hike in fares without giving prior notice.
"The fare was $100, but now, it's $150 for adult, and school pickney used to pay $30, but them a say $50, and some $70 now, and the people them around here a bawl," said an irate resident, Stacey Dixon. "We want something around here to be done about it. Me a look on $700 in fare for one day because a two stop-offs me have to make to and from work, and me nah go MoBay, so just imagine."
One taxi operator explained to the WESTERN STAR that the increase was necessary because the main road leading to the communities is in a deplorable condition and there is no official road licence offered for the route.
He also pointed to the constant increase in gas prices. But residents have rubbished the reasons given.
"Is because you have a few bike taxi man who charge $150 and $200. But they can charge that because people call them in the early mornings or late nights when taxi man no deh pon the road to carry them to and from home," explained one man, who only gave his name as Andrew.
"The taxi men a say because the bike man can charge that, then it means say fare can raise right across the board. Nobody know about the increase until Monday morning, and when parents give them children exact money, where these kids a go find extra money to pay fare? It can't work," he added. "If they are going to raise the fare, they can't raise it to $150, which is a 50 per cent increase. That is unfair. It should be around $120."
Residents are now calling on the relevant authorities to address their concerns.
Efforts to get a comment from the Transport Authority were unsuccessful.