Taxi fares hiked but still no meters

| 01/08/2019 | 213 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Ministry of Transport has introduced a national taxi fare schedule as part of the recently gazetted Traffic Regulations, which will see prices increase from midnight tonight. The fares, which many believe are already prohibitively expensive, have increased only slightly, according to an MoT release. It appears to be a hike of around 10%, though the party size has increased from three to four and the first two pieces of luggage will now be free.

Officials said that after-hour fares will also now be scheduled, removing the previous 25% surcharge. While the change in party-size offers some reductions for visiting families, as an extra person can now travel in a taxi without increasing the price, it is unlikely to do anything to encourage local residents to leave their cars at home when out drinking.

Nevertheless, Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who is transport minister, defended the increase and pointed to the need for operators to make a living.

“The new schedule balances the need for taxi operators to make a reasonable living wage and for the public to have access to the public transport system at a fair rate,” Kirkconnell stated in the release about the hike. “As the cost of living has increased, operators have unfortunately been left behind. The minimal increase in rates is an acknowledgement of the valuable service these operators provide to the general public, especially as tourism ambassadors for our stay-over visitors.”

The creation of this national taxi fare schedule is part of the Public Transport Board’s (PTB) Five-Year Strategic Plan, which aims to enhance the Public Transport Unit with strengthened leadership and direction, as well as adequate resources, develop a sustainable public transport system, promote the use of public transport and make it more accessible, and embrace technology.

Despite the long-held public support for meters instead of fare schedules and criticisms of the current systems and costs, officials said the new national fare system was based on public feedback concerns for regulated taxi fares.

“I am confident PTB’s strategic plan provides a blueprint for a strengthened public transport system, one that reinforces our commitment to providing safe transportation options that are well regulated and creates additional entrepreneurship within the Caymanian community,” Kirkconnell stated.

Cayman News Service

Instead of meters, the unit has introduced a digital taxi fare calculator, which will be launched later this month. CI:GO is a free mobile app which will give users a quote for their journey in advance. It will allow users to drop a pin or enter the pickup and drop-off location of an intended ride, then specify the number of passengers and how many pieces of luggage. Based on the information provided, the app will calculate the fare.

PTB Chair Rosa Harris, who is also the tourism director, said the app would provide greater transparency on taxi fares. “We encourage the public to use the taxi service and feel empowered to quote their journey in advance. Taxi fares are now in the palm of your hand,” she said.

See new Regulations with full pricing schedule and the PTU 5-year plan in the CNS Library

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Category: Business, Transport

Comments (213)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let me tell you, a good friend of mine works taxi part time and she makes GOOD money on TIPS alone. Corruption is deep but it keeps the CIG fat and fed I guess.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everyone who brings Uber/Lyft into this discussion, can you tell me who the drivers are going to be? NiCE workers? Expats are all already employed on workpermits. CIG employees? They already run private businesses while on the clock. Who else is left?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fantastic. We have zero unemployment on Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      For a lot of people it is something to do after their regular job.

      • Anonymous says:

        Expats can’t have a second job by law. CIG employees won’t drive you around after work hours. In states, SWFL, when I call Uber, I always ask them if they do it part time or full time. Not many people for whom driving Uber is a second job. They are: stay at home mom while kids in school, students, retirees, people between jobs. Their vehicles in good repair, they obey traffic laws. Level of experience differs greatly. I prefer my driver to be a man for most women are not very confident drivers and I don’t feel safe. But selecting a driver by gender is not an option. The bottom line is Uber/Lyft, whatever, won’t work in Cayman because of Cayman specific circumstances.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if anyone in the CIG can read. How can you see all these comments which they no doubt are fully aware of, standby and do nothing. Shame on you MLA’s. Shame on you.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Drivers: “If you dont let us rip passengers off, we will lose the money we are used to”
    Gov: “Okay, lets raise the rate”
    Drivers “AND you are not going to give us meters or change penalties so we can keep ripping people off”
    Gov: “sounds like plan!”

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Taxi fare meters = CIG Standard of Public Life. No wonder they won’t do anything about it. Hit’s them both in the wallet.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Agreed a price of $45 from camana bay to Hurley’s, on arrival handed over $50 to be told with tip the fare was $50. Had a very heated unpleasant discussion with driver which was only concluded after threats of calling police. That is the only time I have used a taxi in 5 years and all my negative feelings were proven true. Everyone I know arranges pickups from the airport and
    drink /drive when they go out because taxis are just completely out of the question. As it is now tourists get ripped off for a very poor service and locals just don’t use. Are the fares so high because the taxis don’t get regular enough fares or are the drivers just used to making too much income for what everywhere else is a fairly low income job?Make it a proper professional value service and slowly local people will start to use them, tourists might enjoy using them and everyone can be happy.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    No Taxi Ride for me…….. This is a ” Rip Off” and unfortunately with Government blessing..

    We have to vote these politicians out… they are not representing us the people.

    These Taxi drivers are just “vultures”

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  8. Anonymous says:

    First 2 pieces of luggage free !!!!! Who do they think they are? HAHAHAHA

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Bring in UBER AND THEY WILL SHOW THEM HOW THINGS REALLY WORKS@ BRACKA!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Uber, Lyft = less cars and congestion on the roads. Most of the taxi drivers are foreign so the money doesn’t stay on island anyways.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think CIG understand the damage these taxi pirates do to our tourism product (let alone to the bars and restaurants i can’t be ar5ed frequenting any more)

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  12. Elvis says:

    Think I been in one nice in 22 years, vultures , never again , no metered fairs? Hehe only in Cayman I guess

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