Airport taxi operators ‘not getting fair share’

Some taxi operators at the Grantley Adams International Airport say they are not receiving a fair share of the pie of increased visitors for the International Cricket Council’s Men’s T20 World Cup.

President of the Airport Taxi Association Anthony Harewood said most of the business was going to “outsiders” some of which have been presumably pre-booked by hotels. 

He lamented that “very few passengers” were coming out of the Arrivals Hall to get taxis to their destination. Harewood said currently airport taxis were transporting “significantly less than 50 per cent” of the arriving passengers.

 Chairman of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael also complained that minibus and ZR operators were seeing very little spin-off from World Cup visitors, as many hotels were providing shuttles to the park and ride service.

“At the airport, we are not seeing anything yet, but it is still early days and I am hoping that when it comes down to the Super 8 we get more numbers. We get a slight something for today’s match (Scotland vs England on Tuesday), but it wasn’t even anything to talk about. We see a little influx on the British Airways and the Virgin Atlantic flights, but so far we have not seen that translate into increased taxi fares that would suggest that this is working,” Harewood said. 

He added: “People are coming but one of the problems we have are the outsiders that are coming in. We have had situations where a lot of the coaches are coming in to take away the people. Some of the organisers have taxis other than those stationed at the airport. So I am not saying that people are not coming, all I am saying is that for the operators it has not been anything to shout about.”

Harewood said talks were needed with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that operators stationed at the airport could get a larger share of the business.

As it relates to the park-and- ride system, Raphael explained that while operators on the Transportation Augmentation Programme (TAP) were benefiting from the park-and-ride system, the ZR and minibus operators were seeing no discernible increase in the travelling public. 

“Right now we are not seeing a significant number of people catching buses to go to the Kensington Oval. Most Barbadians have their cars and the hotels have either provided taxis or shuttles to the park-and-ride venue. As it relates to the park-and-ride, it is still early days yet but thus far it is going well. We have more operators wanting to join the programme but we are unable to accommodate all of them,” Raphael said.

“The only complaint is that we don’t have a dedicated space at Kensington where we can pick up passengers who may not want to use the park-and-ride system. This is something we have argued for many years and we expected to be a problem once more during the Crop Over season,” he stressed.

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