Changes Planned For Minicar Rental Legislation

November 3, 2016

After meetings between Government, taxi entities and other transportation stakeholders, changes to the plan to introduce minicar rentals will be reflected in new legislation, with the legislation set to allow for licenced liveries to offer minicars that are no more than 60 inches wide and 115 inches long, with seats limited to two and cc being limited to 150cc.

In addition, the Ministry said that “to assist the industry, we have agreed to permit the importation of second hand vehicles for use as a motor taxi, as long as they comply with the necessary restrictions.”

Ministry Comment

A statement from Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalitie said, “After a number of very fruitful government meetings with the Bermuda Taxi Owners/Operators Association [BTOA], taxi dispatching companies and other transportation stakeholders, changes to the plan to introduce livery minicars will be reflected in new legislation promulgated by the Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities.

“After extensive dialogue to allay industry concerns, Senator Michael M. Fahy said he has taken to heart issues raised by industry representatives throughout the consultation process. The legislation will allow for licenced liveries to operate livery minicars that are no more than 60 inches wide and no more than 115 inches long.

“In addition the primary legislation makes it clear that the number of seats permitted is limited to two which is of course the limit on a livery cycle. There are also limits in respect of the power of the minicar with the cc being limited to 150cc and 20hp or 15kw.”

Transport Minister Comment

Minister Fahy said, “There were some concerns as to the previously proposed size, and not withstanding that the types of vehicles we are talking about were always limited in their power and size, we have added extra clarity to give comfort to the transportation industry. We will continue this dialogue as we draft the regulations in support of the primary legislation.”

“During our fruitful discussion a myriad of other issues were raised by both the Government and the industry stakeholders, among them concerns about the high cost of purchasing new taxis and the hardship it places on the taxi operators.

“To assist the industry we have agreed to permit the importation of second hand vehicles for use as a motor taxi, as long as they comply with the necessary restrictions long established by the Public Service Vehicle Licencing Board and the Transport Control Department. Consequential regulations may be adopted to assist with this new market.

“New guidelines to reflect this policy change will be released by the end of the year. I’ve been told that it is something that has been sought by the industry for a number of years.”

Taxi President Comment

Bermuda Taxi Owners/Operators Association [BTOA] President Leo Simmons said, “We have formed a good working relationship with Minister Fahy throughout this process.

“We are very pleased with the solutions given to assist the taxi industry thus far and look forward to continued dialogue.

“The meetings were useful to get a number of issues on the table faced by taxi owners and for us to understand where the Government is coming from.

“The BTOA supports the actions thus far by the Ministry in this regard and looks forward to the new guidelines for the policy change regarding the importation of second hand vehicles for use as a motor taxi before the end of 2016.”

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Comments (37)

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  1. San George says:

    You have been “hood winked” and “bamboozaled” – they will destroy your business while their businesses thrive. Where is the regulation of interest rates and insurance rates? Gas station owners have more clout than your industry.

    • Terry says:

      Catch a bloody bus……….

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      R.I.P. Taxi Industry :-(

      • Spit Bouy says:

        Poor service and not rental vehicles is what has been killing the taxi industry, that’s been happening for years. That’s why more and more mini buses have been allowed on island. No sympathy here.

        We have more taxis today approx 600 then when tourism was at it’s peak in the early 80′s appro 400 yet calling one is still like Russian roulette at times especially in St David’s and St George’s. Yet drive to the airport and they’re lined up by the dozens. Get on with it OBA.

        • Its me again says:

          But that shouldn’t be the reason why we legislate rental cars. You seem like you want the taxi industry to suffer instead of both taxi and rental industries thriving.

          • Spit Bouy says:

            Read into it what you like, I simply have no sympathy for comments like ‘this this will negatively impact the taxi industry’ when that industry has been doing that to itself for years. Simple really.

            Besides allowing some form of rental car is about giving visitors options, it has nothing to do with hurting the taxi business. Period.

      • sid says:

        The usual feedback I get from tourists is that a Bermuda vacation is a rip-off. Being forced to take taxis is one of the reasons.

        Making tourism in Bermuda more attractive and affordable benefits everyone. The monopoly for taxi drivers only benefits taxi drivers.

    • Its me again says:

      Let’s just see what the actual act says first.

      Good job Fahy

    • Betty Boop says:

      The Taxi Industry is just crazy, they can’t seem to drive properly, they don’t show up on time, they are rude, not all of them some are very nice. I feel this is needed for our tourist, there will always be a complainer like you around, but we have to move forward instead! I guess you’d rather see horse and buggies HUH? No, out-played. Give the tourists a choice.

    • Sorry Sir says:

      Just WOW. People don’t want to let go aye?
      Government and stakeholders come to an agreement and still the negativity.

      Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s why a majority of people have stopped listening to the very vocalized negative groups in this country.

  2. jackpot says:

    Well I guess you have to give something to get something.

  3. archy says:

    That wasn’t hard was it? So, why didn’t you do this to start with? Steamrolling people is not what people want.

    • Micro says:

      They did do that from the start. People are always quick to put down fresh ideas an make it lot of noise before getting the facts.

  4. Terry says:

    How much is it gonna cost to inspect and bring up to date these second hand cars.
    Another venture for OBA?

    • Micro says:

      Does it matter? Cost would be bared by the licensed entity looking to import these vehicles.

      It’s not like well maintained second hand vehicles are any less safe or inferior to a new vehicle.

  5. FairIsFair says:

    Very interesting development. Taxi owners import second hand cars, presmably to reduce their operating costs, and “licensed liveries” get to import minicars for use as rentals which ensures that air travelers will still need a cab to transport large families and do airport runs with/without luggage. Or maybe the “liveries” will rent minicars at the airport for individual travelers without much luggage! Will Auto Solutions, Bermuda Motors, Continental Motors and Eurocar Sales be the “liveries”?

    In the name of fairness, if taxi operators and car dealers are going to benefit from minicar rentals, all vehicle owners should benefit and have the option to import second hand cars. Invariably the importation of second hand cars for use as taxis will spawn a resurgence in the vehicle repair sector. No guess which companies will benefit most from this!

    With most workers facing the prospect of a seventh successive year of wage and salary cuts it’s high time for all residents to have this option! Government, help reduce my costs too.

    • Bill says:

      You are saying is there will be more job opportunities, (more liveries, and more repair shops) You actually can bring in a second hand car but has to be less that 6 months old.

  6. Toodle-oo says:

    As much as some will say that this is overdue and provides a safe alternative to our guests I wonder if it just won’t end up being yet another accusation that Bermuda is too expensive.
    This criticism will come from our target market where proper full sized rental cars are available for $20 a day .
    Currently our cycle liveries rent out cheap Tiawanese scooters that they import themselves for $1200 a piece and charge $120 for 2 days rental .
    Although not in same league as the earlier spoke of Renault 2 seater cars that had a fist cost in Europe of $12,000 one has to wonder what the daily rental coast will be for these proposed vehicles .

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      If you want to truely compare Bermuda prices with US resort area prices try looking up vehicle rental rates for places like Block Island or Martha’s Vineyard.

  7. James Rego says:

    There are also limits in respect of the power of the minicar with the cc being limited to 150cc and 20hp or 15kw.”

    150cc? Are you serious? This is classified as a high end, hi powered motorcycle on the island. Is this correct?

    • sid says:

      Exactly – limiting rentals to minicars is silly. Normal cars would be fine. Tourists can rent normal cars in places smaller and more crowded than Bermuda (Monaco, Macau, the Channel Islands)without any problem. This is just another pointless half-measure by a government that doesn’t have the courage of its convictions.

  8. James Harold says:

    Good move. Bermuda needs to stay competitive otherwise we will die as a destination. The taxi industry is appalling with non existent service. This is an answer finally!

  9. Um Um Like says:

    Has Tweed approved this?

  10. Outkasted says:

    Ya’ll did not think these millionaires and billionaires are going to be riding around the island on mopeds did you?

    • justme says:

      Or silly little two seater mini cars. Bring in real car rentals. Foreign drivers are not the problem.

  11. For all of you who say the taxi service is appalling well you are at a minimum. You should check with the other thousands of local and visitors that catch a taxi every day who are more than pleased with the service. Bermudians sways looking to criticize something.

  12. ST says:

    so great to see this agreed between parties. So many would be tourists are put off coming to Bermuda due to the in ability to travel safely around the island on their own. This is such a fantastic solution and it’s so good to hear that the taxi industry is embracing it as it will benefit the industry in all respects. Taxis will always be needed and there will be more tourists visiting as a result of this added choice of transport.

  13. Datbye says:

    WOW first, taxi driver you really sold yourselves out and Bermuda. Sec traffic is going to be worst for sure now, this is sick. Third parking as bad as it is in the city and the island period, is going to be crazy. This is so not good for Bermuda im so glad i don’t live there anymore. Pay Attention Bermuda.

    • Bermyman says:

      Worse? We have 10,000 less people on the Island than we did 10 years ago. Should visitors not have access to parking? How about food and runnjng water? Glad you no longer live here!

      • Datbye says:

        Yes they should, but sounds like you don’t care for your island and what food and water has to do with this conversation? We are talking about transportation not basic human rights. And if you think 10000 let people less make this right you are sadly wrong. Bermuda is still in the top ten most Populated Places Per Square Mile in the world to life in. Also to think Bermuda has a tourism industry is a joke in itself. The Island has hardly anything to offer for tourist. Having travel to many other islands which offer at least 110% more then we can. Bermyman if you are a real Bermudian you need to look outside the box and or the rock and get pass the small island back in the day thinking.

    • sid says:

      It will improve traffic, as rental cars are only on the road when tourists drive them, whereas taxis are on the road all day, often empty.

      Parking will be fine — Bull’s Head and (now) City Hall parking lots sit half-empty all day.

      • Datbye says:

        Yes that can be anytime if you think of it depending on the time of the year.

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    150cc! What a waste of time! Street legal side by side ATVs or even golf carts would be better. Typical Bermuda problem solving. Do it over & over till eventually it is done right.

    Can somebody explain what taxis have to do with this?

  15. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Taxis in Bermuda are JUST NON RELIABLE! All they do is sit up the airport, fairmounts, other places. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE to get a cab in Bermuda if you’re local!

  16. drunken ursula says:

    mmmmm thankfully I live on a major road buses are the best trans around!