No extra burden: Taxis, like this parked on Front Street, will not be forced to use GPS. *File photo
No extra burden: Taxis, like this parked on Front Street, will not be forced to use GPS. *File photo

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11: Taxi drivers have welcomed the news that GPS systems will be made optional under the new Government.

New Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell told the Bermuda Sun his party would seek to reward those drivers who have already complied with the requirement, while not further burden those who had not.

Drivers said the move would be a welcome relief to the industry.

Terry Flood added: “That is definitely good news and it is sure to receive a warm reception from most taxi drivers.

“It should have been optional from the beginning to be honest.

“But I am pleased that something will be done about it.”

Lee Tucker told the Sun he was also pleased with at the new Government’s decision, but said he was keen to know what kind of rewards would be forthcoming for drivers who had fulfilled the former legal requirement.

He added: “I am certainly happy that GPS is going to be optional soon.

“It is about time really and taxi drivers should never have been forced to subscribe to something like GPS, which is only a money making project anyway.

“It never really worked in my opinion.

“The real question now is how those drivers who have installed the system will be rewarded — will it be by fuel rebates or a license reduction.

“Every taxi driver needs to be treated equally — that is the most important thing.”

Mr Crockwell told the Sun that the “GPS issue” would be a priority for the new Cabinet.

He added: “We promised to make it optional and we will follow through on that and consult with the taxi industry.

“We want to be able to provide reward for those drivers who have been compliant, to show appreciation.

“But we don’t want to further burden the other taxi drivers with this added requirement.

“Going forward we hope that everyone feels they are on an even keel.

“Any change we make will require legislation so will take some time.”

Mr Crockwell told the Sun he would also look into the concerns taxi drivers had over mini-buses cornering the market and taking their business.

He added: “I understand the grievances put forward by taxi drivers about the minibus situation.

“We will look at what can be done to improve this area.

“But we do appreciate the fact the taxi drivers feel aggrieved.”