I understand fully that tourists need transportation, and they do pay in US dollars. However, the last I looked, Bermudians pay the same rate as tourists.
I understand fully that tourists need transportation, and they do pay in US dollars. However, the last I looked, Bermudians pay the same rate as tourists.

1pm — dials 296-2121.

Dispatcher: Good afternoon. How may I help you?

Caller: Good day. May I have a cab for 7 Roberts Avenue, Devonshire?

Dispatcher: Sure, where are you travelling?

Caller: Oh, I am going to Hamilton.

Dispatcher: Okay, no problem.

1:30pm — Dials 296-2121 again.

Caller: I am checking on that cab for Roberts Avenue.

Dispatcher: We are still trying to get you a cab.

1:45pm — Dials 296-2121 again.

Caller: I am checking on that cab for Roberts Avenue.

Dispatcher: We are still trying to get you a cab.

 

This is how one generally spends their time when trying to get a cab five minutes from Hamilton during the summer months. It seems GPS or no GPS, Bermudian taxi drivers are becoming extremely selective about who they are catering to during tourist season.

I understand fully that tourists need transportation, and they do pay in US dollars. However, the last I looked, Bermudians pay the same rate as tourists.

 Last summer I went without a vehicle for a few months. To say it was a learning lesson would be an understatement. 

What I learned: Bermudian taxi drivers are as friendly as friendly can be; As a Bermudian, you have to lie and say your destination is Hamilton to Dockyard; Many large taxis don’t pick up in many back-of-town areas;

I have met many taxi drivers and asked why is it that one has to wait 30+ minutes for a simple taxi with 600 cabs on the road? They have given me an array of answers: Many drivers don’t fully use GPS; Many drivers only serve tourists at hotels or airports; Many drivers are Adventists so they do not drive on their Sabbath, which is a Saturday; Many taxis are parked after 11pm; Many taxis are dedicated to IB jobs. 

None of this gives the person who is waiting 30-60 minutes for a cab any comfort. In fact, many passengers I have spoken to are not in favour of paying 25 per cent more only to be treated in the same second class citizen manner.

On the flip side, I asked taxi drivers what are their concerns are with the industry. It pretty much boils down to some of these points: Too many mini buses; Fuel prices too high; Maintenance of vehicles; Safety of drivers; A short tourist season to make real money.
 

Again there are more concerns from the drivers, so I could not do them justice by lumping a heap of blame onto their laps.

I have had the pleasure of meeting two drivers who I have on speed dial 24/7. When I call them, I get a friendly answer and a prompt time of pickup. To Ms Smith cab 1833, you are a true example for Bermudian Taxi drivers.

She has become like family to myself, my mother and children, and displays what Bermudian taxi driving is truly about — putting clients first.

I must also add there is a dispatcher at 296-2121 “Douglas” who deserves every award one can get. She goes above and beyond to ensure you get a cab, and follows up. It definitely helps the 30-minutes wait to pass when Ms. Smith is on. To our Bermudian Taxi Drivers, please remember Bermudians this summer. 

contact Christopher Famous at caribe_pro@yahoo.com