Further Consultation To Be Held: Car Rental Bill

July 15, 2016

Following a meeting last night with taxi owners and other transportation stakeholders, the Government has decided not to debate the Motor Car Amendment [No. 2] Act 2016 today and will “carry it forward to the next parliamentary session in order to consult with transportation partners further.”

The Motor Car Amendment [No. 2] Act 2016 was tabled in the House of Assembly, with the Bill seeking to amend the Motor Car Act 1951 to include provisions for a motor car rental scheme.

The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum says, “This Bill seeks to amend to amend the Motor Car Act 1951 [the “principal Act”] to include provisions for a motor car livery scheme including the types of motor cars that are available as a rental, the specifications of and licence duty for those motor cars, the licence fee applicable for the operation of a motor car livery, and for connected purposes.”

The Renault Twizy, which the BTA said is one of the vehicles under consideration:

Fullscreen capture 15072016 71816 AM

A spokesperson said, “The Ministry of Tourism, Transport & Municipalities wishes to advise the public that on Thursday evening the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, Senator Michael M. Fahy, met with members of the Bermuda Taxi Owners and Operators Association and other transportation stakeholders at the Warwick Workman’s Club and advised the attendees that the Government had made a decision not to debate the Motor Car Amendment [No. 2] Act 2016 on Friday and would carry it forward to the next parliamentary session in order to consult with transportation partners further.”

The spokesperson added that the President of the Association had agreed to assist the Minister in striking a committee to examine the matter of the introduction of quadricycles for rent in Bermuda and discuss a number of other outstanding matters related to the transportation industry generally, and that the Minister is keen to resolve a number of outstanding issues in the industry and hopes that constructive dialogue will be possible to benefit the tourism industry, the public and all industry partners.

click here Motor Car Amendment [No

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Comments (49)

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  1. paperboy says:

    There is a much better way to consult, engage and work with our community on important issues. If it for our community please do it with our community not to our community or for our community.

    Yet another example of by our Government of a behaviour that erodes trust in political leadership: act, defend, retreat and delay to consult – after everyone has expressed surprise, dismay and frustration.

    Please change the process – begin with the community- stay engaged with our community and create together with our community.

    We are worth it.

  2. sage says:

    This is a great illustration of how badly out of touch with reality the people dreaming up regulations at TCD and the Transport Ministry really are. The car they name (out of 10 supposedly) is over the limit they themselves have proposed, for one. Requiring tourists to get a Bermuda license is ridiculous especially since we can rent a car anywhere pretty much with our license. The cost of these cars and running a rental business plus factoring in our requisite over pricing, only the elite could afford to rent one, but the “high net worth” individuals don’t do small. What would be the probable per day price, anyone? Not sure about the taxi industry opposition, but it looks like they won.For now.

    • yep says:

      Will you please do some more research before spouting off. Through the power of the internet check to see what you said about the Twizy and you will find there are two versions of it. One being over the proposed limit and one being under it. The smaller doing 45k which is over our speed limit.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy

      Also it isn’t your responsibility to decide if someone thinks they can make a business out of something good for them. I struggle to see the maths working as, well without the per day charge being very expensive, but then again you could say that a rental bike is overpriced as well considering the condition of most of them pouring their smoke out the back.

      • sage says:

        OK, well excuse me, a 5hp car that only does 45kph and prices start at 6990 euros may suit some fanatical environmentalists with large trust funds, but what of our target visitors. Why were they not specific about which model or mention the other 9 under consideration? What about the license requirement? Why not real cars? It is our responsibility to ask questions.

      • David says:

        Who the hell drives 45 k in Bermuda?

    • Dark Star says:

      In some other islands you have to get a temp. local license that the rental car company gives you an charges $10—it is a way to make more money

  3. Tired of it all says:

    Who do the taxis think they are stating the below last night:

    “we don’t want no other competition on the roads with us”

    Up your game for once taxi drivers and you won’t have to be so scared of a little competition.

    You have no right to have monopoly on modes of transportation. Especially the way some of you carry on to your customers (that’s if you show up at all).

    And I hope you do boycott the ship this weekend in Dockyard like you threatened last night.

    It will prove how much tourists need another option for transportation.

    • Just the Tip says:

      How do they up their game?

      also how do they have a monopoly when they have to compete against the cycle rentals, the mini buses, the regular buses, the gypsy cabs.

      • Contours says:

        They can up their game by turning up when they are ordered, being available during big football games, carrying change for a $50 bill, not playing their music at full blast, being available in the west and east ends at times other than the middle of the day, not doing u-turns in the middle of Front Street at peak times, not double parking to chat to their friends, not tailgating the rental bike in front ……..

        • innna says:

          bingo… the taxi service on this island is abysmal, i have driven drunk countless times because these useless wet rags wouldn’t come pick me up

      • serengeti says:

        How could they up their game?
        - how about having at least one or two taxis available outside the Southampton princess at 7.00pm on an evening in July. last week I happened to be there and there was a line of tourists waiting for taxis to appear. Where were they?
        - how about organizing it so there are taxis in Hamilton on Front Street at 6.00pm on a Friday.
        - turning off hate radio when you have a passenger on board
        - not eating your lunch while sitting in a taxi bay in Hamilton, and when a passenger approaches you wave your fork to direct them to the taxi behind.
        - how about turning on the a/c
        - how about refraining from using your cellphone while driving. particularly texting, while the passengers are sitting behind you hoping you don’t kill them all
        - How about having a taxi that is clean and where the passenger door handles actually operate properly. Do TCD even inspect these vehicles?

        Taxi drivers have no God-given right to veto other types of transport. What gives them the right to stop the island from improving its product and attracting more tourists?

        • UNREAL says:

          Try just being polite and taking that chip off there shoulder.

        • Just the Tip says:

          - how about having at least one or two taxis available outside the Southampton princess at 7.00pm on an evening in July. last week I happened to be there and there was a line of tourists waiting for taxis to appear. Where were they?

          Either at the airport or more than likely at the cruise ships where there was more of chance at getting a job that would make them money, the likely hood of a HP visitor want to go to a location out of town is unlikely and probably wouldn’t be worth the fuel they would use. Where as they’re going to get way more for someone off the cruise ship so you tell me where would you be?

          – how about organizing it so there are taxis in Hamilton on Front Street at 6.00pm on a Friday.

          I doubt that wasn’t a single taxi on Front street but even if there wan’t, see my responce about being at the airport or dockyard. Just as a note you talk about orginizing like the drives all work for the same person, you do know that in most cases each taxi is own by the driver or rent from another driver.

          – turning off hate radio when you have a passenger on board

          Don’t know about the hate radio but guess what, it’s their car they can play what they want. And don’t act like you haven’t got into a cab in the states and had to deal with what ever they were playing.

          – not eating your lunch while sitting in a taxi bay in Hamilton, and when a passenger approaches you wave your fork to direct them to the taxi behind.

          How is this an issue? If you’re on lunch are you working? No, oh so then they did the right thing to wave them to the next taxi, you don’t know if that the first chance they have had to eat.

          – how about turning on the a/c

          what if the a/c is broken? takes months to get parts in and get it repaired then what? Could be a gas saving thing, yes it sucks for the customer but hey if your paying him $25 for ride but it takes him $75 put gas in his taxi (its more than that but it’s an example) who is at a loss?

          – how about refraining from using your cellphone while driving. particularly texting, while the passengers are sitting behind you hoping you don’t kill them all

          First its illegal so report them as is your right as the passanger, second don’t act like you’ve never got into a cab overseas and haven’t had the driver be on the phone for the whole time. No local driver i’ve dealt with has had me worried for my life, can’t say the same about overseas.

          – How about having a taxi that is clean and where the passenger door handles actually operate properly. Do TCD even inspect these vehicles?

          can’t argue with the clean taxi but i’m betting that not norm. and as for the handle it could be about money and parts.

          When something is going to effect your lively hood then yes you have a right to complain.
          what good is trying to improve something when you are cutting the people who work in the very industry out of having any say.

  4. Preview says:

    Debate and delay…the same record being played again and again. Realistically, how many of these things are we talking about…less than 50 I would expect. Will that really kill off the taxi industry? Would these tourists not be renting bikes otherwise but simply be at greater risk of injury and less comfortable?

    Honestly, I feel its like we’re arguing about who’s going to get the top bunk on a sinking ship. Build the Bermuda brand, attract more tourists and all will make more money. Are taxis important…of course they are. They can be great ambassadors and are often the first point of contact. Should we continue to artificially push up the demand curve at the detriment of the island’s tourism product by restricting options based on unsubstantiated fears…No. It is that thinking that has turned Bermuda into one of the most expensive countries in the world.

    • Just the Tip says:

      Less then 50? get freaking real, its going to to start with 50 maybe but then it will expand and rapidly. Cause face it would you rather drive one of those things or a bike? and once who ever has their business running cause trust there is some one already got every thing lined up for this, the cylce retals will follow suit to keep up.

      And it is not unsubstatiated feaars, the taxi industry takes a slam every time something like this gets introduced. Their industry is the only one controlled by government, they pay higher fees to get the licence, they are forced to pay for gps which is hardly every used, they get no breaks from government. you want to talk about a haard business to run, go try being a taxi driver/owner.

      • Contours says:

        Get another job then. No one is forcing them to be a taxi driver.

        • Just the Tip says:

          Given that for some of them it all they can do since they are over the age of 65 getting another job is not an option. And then thanks to the PLP there are ex con drivers who would not be able to get a ‘regular’ job due to their record.

      • Tired of it all says:

        They are not forced to pay for GPS.

        Caught a taxi last week and there wasn’t a GPS installed.

        And guess what cycle liveries and these new qudracycle rental places will also pay fees to the Government including licensing fees for the business itself and to license the cars.

        Sorry but are we in the tourism business or not?

        And if they can afford to forgo a weekend of work when there is a ship in Dockyard they are not that hard off.

        Welcome to the real world Bermuda.

        • Just the Tip says:

          Yes they actual do have to pay to have the GPS put into their taxi.

          And if ou did get into one it did have the GPS in or it was operating illegally.

          and yes they will but nothing that matches what a taxi driver has to pay to operate

          And they can’t afford it but if it going to get the point across then they will do it. it’s not like they got a union backing them.

      • Preview says:

        And how about all of the other local business owners who are paying annual licensing fees, corporation taxes, increased payroll taxes, increasing operating costs, increased health care, increased BELCO charges? Taxis are not the only business that is feeling the pinch. What other businesses are afforded this level of protection.

        Taxis are an essential service as far as I am concerned and I have no interest in seeing anyone being handicapped from making a living wage, however we have to be willing to make advances. My point is that getting more people to travel to the island will bring more opportunities. No doubt taxis will the first to benefit as these tourists step out of the arrivals gate.

        Negotiate a limited introduction of these cars…phase them in…tourist consumption first and see how it goes. Every decision does not have to be an extreme.

  5. Rada Gast says:

    Parking tickets for tourists who don’t know they need parking vouchers in town, or park illegally elsewhere on the island – do the Gov’t expect this to be a new revenue stream for them?

    • Hope says:

      Each car could come with a parking gadget, and they can be charged for what they’ve spent when they return the rental….not too difficult.

      • Contours says:

        One non-constructive comment, one constructive comment.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      @ Rada Gast,

      I don’t see what the problem is. Have the information on the rental companies web site, Inform them at time of renting and put stickers in the cars explaining parking etc if people ignore the advice and speed, park anywhere then ticket them. Just like they would get at home in the UK, US, Canada, Europe etc. Also any infractions will be charged to your credit card, just like car renters do in other countries.

  6. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    Consult with a monopolist lobby? Good luck with that.

    • Just the Tip says:

      it’s not a monopoly so lets just set that straight.

      • JinnyJohny says:

        Monopoly: ‘the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.’

        Taxi’s are the only suitable and safe traveling options for tourists to a specific destination.

        Oh no, thats right, the Taxi’s have to contend with the mighty Bermuda Bus Service, sporadic mini-buses and two wheeled death traps that even the most accomplished riders struggle to operate.

        My goodness its amazing they lasted this long in the face of such a free and competitive market!

      • serengeti says:

        So why ask their opinion. Get on with it. They’ll eventually figure out how to improve their service.

  7. Ellen Little says:

    Although it is a great idea, it will be a disaster because a great many of the tourists off the cruise ships are U.S.-based, and they drive on the right-hand-side of the road. Also, they do not know the rules of the road (especially the roundabouts), parking vouches, one-way streets, etc. Imagine the tourist’s off the large cruise ships with 3-5,000 people and if a good portion of those passengers rented a car!! The traffic jams would be unbelievable.

    • Hope says:

      People from all over the world drive in other countries all of the time, they are not all idiots. Plus I doubt we would ever have 3-5,000 of these cars on the roads, as quite frankly there would be no where to store them when not being used. Also, the same problem exists with livery cycles, but actually to a more dangerous extent. For those that have never driven one, chances are they will make more mistakes with the road rules themselves as they are trying to concentrate on working the actual bike. If they know how to drive a car already then they’ll spend less time worrying about that and more about following the rules of the road. And if our roads are that complex….then maybe that’s what actually needs resolving, not the drivers.

      • Keeping it Real says:

        @Hope, I couldn’t agree with you more.

        Why do we believe that we are so so special that people couldn’t figure out our roads??? That seems to me to be the very height of arrogance.

        These vehicles are safer for the people who rent them, could be fitted with a GPS to tell them how to get where they are going as an added safety feature, and if they are more confortable driving perhaps less would end up with road rash or getting killed.

        I will say that trying to pass this bill in a way that looked sneaky if nothing else was just silly of the OBA, and I echo Mr Deacon’s comment asking if they will ever learn‼️

      • Keeping it Real says:

        @Hope, I couldn’t agree with you more.

        Why do we believe that we are so so special that people couldn’t figure out our roads??? That seems to me to be the very height of arrogance.

        These vehicles are safer for the people who rent them, could be fitted with a GPS to tell them how to get where they are going as an added safety feature, and if they are more comfortable driving them, perhaps less would end up with road rash or getting killed.

        I will say, that trying to pass this bill in a way that looked sneaky, if nothing else, was just silly of the OBA, and I echo Mr Deacon’s comment asking if they will ever learn‼️

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ Hope,

        Exactly!! Well said.

    • Rob says:

      But we’re perfectly happy to put these people on a scooter? Think before you speak!

  8. Jeremy Deacon says:

    will the oba never learn?

    • Paul Reveire says:

      Its NOT the OBA Mr. Deacon, just one man set on having it his way.
      C’mon now you know the deal, you been in the game long enough

  9. Quiteguy says:

    Have they looked at other vehicles besides this?

    Toyota has a really is the size of a bike but still can kinda be driven like a car.

    http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/personal_mobility/i-road/

  10. watching says:

    yet again, they put forth an idea, to retreat due to lack of consultation or consideration for the stakeholders.
    One must wonder why? It cannot be simple ignorance. What is the political strategy at play? Or do they just not give a damn?

  11. flikel says:

    Great….Fahy is the face of another major controversy.

    Has any other MP or Senator generated as many protests and controversies as this individual?

    Jetgate, Corporation of Hamilton’s missing $18 million, Immigration policies, Office relocation from ‘back of town’, Minicars….controversy seems to follow this guy wherever he goes.

  12. Silence Do Good says:

    Call a new election this government is a lame duck that folds to any minority group who stands up. Without more independents running in the next election we would not fair any better with the other side as government either. Especially after fourteen years of disastrous policies and spending. Is there no help for the widow in the next election?

  13. Fantasea says:

    I would bet that everything being bitched over that the OBA is doing since in power. Will be the samething PLP is going to put back on the table when they r back in power. Stay tuned.

  14. Grizz says:

    Shouldn’t they have consulted with them in the first instance; BEFORE introducing the Bill? It just seems like common sense; Why would you bring a Bill to the table without discussing it with key players? The arrogance from the Government is becoming disturbing. And before you die hard OBA people start to type a response; I hate arrogance period, don’t care what side of the floor it comes from!!

    • David says:

      The real stake holders are the hotels, guest houses and tourists. They benefit from tourists not just taxi cabs. I would think the BTA, Hotels, tourists, etc were consulted.

  15. Davie Kerr says:

    I have no problem with the theory of little cars for tourists, but I seriously don’t think it’s a practical option on an island as small as this. I’d prefer to see them on safer cycles, and I think it would be worth following up on the new 3-wheelers that have the 2 wheels at the front for added stability.
    Some people may remember when we did have some 3-wheelers (Ariels, I think) which were an absolute disaster: I think the new ones are vastly superior.

  16. sage says:

    Thanks!

  17. Robert says:

    I voted for the OBA but they are so politically inept it is laughable. This is a government that just do not have their finger on the pulse of the real Bermuda and they have just gone and alienated some of their biggest supporters. A complete misunderstanding of the immigration issue, a referendum for something that effects about 2% of the population and an idea for cars that a 12 year old could come up with. I can’t vote for the PLP as they are equally idiotic so where is our island going to go?

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