Chaguanas-PoS taxi fares increase by $ 4 | Local News
Passengers have been left behind as fare increases loom for two major transportation routes.
Commuters who rely on taxis plying the Port of Spain-Chaguanas route will pay an additional $ 4 starting October 11, raising the fare from $ 11 to $ 15.
Those taking the east-west corridor in Route 2 maxi-taxis should pay a $ 2 increase on âdirectâ routes, like the Port of Spain to Arima route, which will drop from $ 8 to $ 10.
The president of the Association of Taxi Drivers of Port of Spain in Chaguanas, Miguel Dolabaille, told the Express yesterday that the adjustment was “inevitable and inevitable”, the drivers on this route not having imposed price increase since 2016.
Operating and living costs keep rising, several taxi drivers said at the Chaguanas stand.
Route Two Maxi-Taxi Association president Linus Phillip said east-west drivers have also been hit by the rising cost of living and the cost of operating a public transport vehicle has skyrocketed .
Livelihoods have been severely affected by public health restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic, Phillip said.
He added that drivers were driving their vehicles for less passenger availability, as many people still have not returned to work and therefore do not use public transport.
âIn the meantime, we import everything a vehicle needs and we pay more and more to maintain our vehicles,â said Phillip, noting that a maxi driver may need to change his oil every six weeks.
Additionally, under Covid-19 restrictions, drivers must observe a passenger load reduced by no more than 75 percent per trip.
Some passengers at the Chaguanas-PoS taxi stand yesterday afternoon said they were stunned but not surprised by the increase, but it puts a strain on them.
One woman said she had not yet been able to purchase all of her children’s textbooks for the new school year and had only returned to work this month.
The price increase will matter to her and affect her family, she said, “because every dollar counts right now and everything is getting more and more expensive.”
Dolabaille apologized to the traveling public, but said drivers on the route were also struggling to make ends meet and care for their families.
âMany have used up their savings,â he said, also noting that their vehicles suffer massive wear and tear and are usually costly to maintain.
In a growing statement, the association through Dolabaille said: âDespite the many new challenges facing the association and its members, we have continued to persevere in order to serve you to the best of our ability.
Over the past five years, the association said, it has “absorbed many financial burdens” including “vehicle maintenance, supermarket costs, educational expenses and rising insurance premiums.”
The drivers also operated with reduced passenger capacity, in accordance with physical distancing protocols for more than two months, the statement said.
âDespite the aforementioned increase in expenses, some of which have almost doubled in cost, as well as a decrease in the level of income due to the pandemic, we, the taxi drivers of this route, have remained in solidarity with the citizens of the nation and did not impose any of the additional costs, keeping the general taxi fare at $ 11, âDolabaille said.
“It is also noteworthy that amid the increases in taxi fares nationwide over the past two years, the Port of Spain to Chaguanas association, with its members, has been one of the very few associations nationally not to impose an increase on commuters in the past five years, âhe added.
However, Dolabaille said that with the expected future increases in the cost of living, “we will no longer be able to continue to serve at a sustainable and profitable level.”
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that the association has no other alternative than to reassess the structure of all prices and tariffs relating to home-work journeys between Port of Spain and Chaguanas”, indicates the press release.
The association announced that “from Monday, October 11, 2021, a new pricing structure will be in effect.”
“On that date, the general taxi fare from Port of Spain to Chaguanas and vice versa will be set at $ 15,” said the association.
âAn updated tariff statement will also be made available to the public in digital form. The physical statement of fares will also be displayed in each registered taxi belonging to the association.
Also from October 11, “all drivers belonging to this association will be dressed in uniform with the association’s monogram clearly displayed as well as a fare statement which will be visibly displayed inside the taxi”.
Passengers are urged to note that âno commuter is obligated to pay the new fare if a fare statement is not displayedâ.
The statement went on to warn commuters against using taxis they are unfamiliar with or who do not belong to a registered association.