Taxi Drivers posted at the Grand Bahama International Airport on Saturday afternoon said they are simply seeking a fair share of transportation jobs for passengers coming on to the island.
The discouraged cab drivers expressed utter disappointment as thousands of visitors have begun their descent on Grand Bahama with the scheduled opening of the Memories Grand Bahama Resort, but have yet to see their benefit in the major undertaking.
Sidney "Mr. Abaco" McIntosh shared his feelings on the afternoon's events as he said he believes the jobs should have been evenly dispersed.
" We're not happy with this flight coming in because we're not getting anything.
" They gave everything to H. Forbes Charter. The taxi drivers sat down and watched a flight with 180 people and all goes to Forbes Charter.
" We understand it's what some people might have wanted, but it should have been split between the Taxi Union and Forbes Charter.
" If the Taxi Union gets it then they would be able to pay a couple of guys from the flight," he said.
McIntosh went on to say, "I don't think the way they advertised this flight between the Ministry of Tourism, The Government of The Bahamas and the hotel, we thought we would have gotten something from this flight.
Grand Bahama being in such a downturn for so long, people are going to the hotel, but we are not benefiting."
Also speaking out was fellow cabby, Kirk Culmer who said taxi drivers should receive some means of compensation from the visitors.
" I'm a cab driver and I'm not happy to be sitting here watching everybody get onto the bus, we should get some piece of the pie somehow.
" I feel like if you are going to be taking people on the bus, then we should be compensated somehow, whether it's a ride around or something, not just sit here and watch everybody get on the bus. I think itâ s totally unfair," he said.
However, Ministry of Tourism Director General, David Johnson said Sunwing never intended for any particular group to be the lone inheritor of transportation jobs.
" It was never Sunwing's intentions that 100 percent of the business goes to any one source. I noted that the Taxi Union bus is participating in the movement but I donâ t know the arrangements that they've made.
" But, we certainly see the many operators contracting with many persons and many passengers who will not be taking bus travel as passengers coming forward," he said.
Johnson went on to say, "It was never and it won't ever be the right thing for the Ministry of Tourism to be a part of a program that would dislocate such a large segment of the community in the transportation business.
" Our team, led by Betty Bethel and Terrence Roberts will be cooperating and collaborating with the Taxi Union leaders and
the taxi drivers themselves to see how they can benefit much more than they did today going forward as the numbers increase."
(Published January 20, 2014)
posted on: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:51 PM
I will be taking the bus to the resort but the rest of the week will be by my taxi friends! See you in two weeks! ( I hope!)
Eddie posted on: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:58 PM
The Ministry of Tourism can not compel a private company to use the most expensive form of transportation on the island to transport their guest. Sunwing is here to make a profit. One way the taxi drivers will benefit is when a Sunwing employee needs to get to work and his ride didn't show up, he or she will call a taxi. More money in the economy benefits everyone.
posted on: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:12 PM
Bahamians are definitely envious of one another. Instead of each person trying to lift up the next, Bahamians are quite the following sheep. It's all about "me" attitude that has destroyed Freeport and most of the Bahamas. The white man's divide and conquer has worked like gold in the Bahamas and has done what it was meant to do. Nothing has changed since independence, the only difference now is that it's people of colour keeping each other back and destroying a nation. As a person able to foresee into the future, I can the the Bahamas is on a downward spiral.
posted on: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:08 AM
Grand Bahama will never get better unless we look at the bigger picture. We are to jealous, to narrow minded and to petty......
Not surprised posted on: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:15 PM
Who ever promised the Taxi drivers anything?
If the politicians, blame them for yet another lie.
Same crap they always pulled at Freeport Harbor,
clogging up the works, displaying the worst attitudes we have to offer.
Sunwing is, and has always been touted as an all inclusive resort.
Freeport is dying, everyone is suffering, and Sunwing is not the cure!
A dozen Sunwings maybe.
posted on: Monday, January 20, 2014 8:57 PM
I always skip the large bus in favor of a taxi. Too much hassle to use the bus. I am a yearly visitor to Grand Bahama Island. Taxis are more intimate and allows time for interesting facts about the Island. See you in July!
posted on: Monday, January 20, 2014 4:37 PM
I won't be using the bus , I still need the taxi's :-) I use them a lot for the whole month of May :-) Tell them Diane from Michigan said Hi some will remember me :-) lol