Minister Responds To BTOA Ahead Of Protest

February 6, 2024 | 8 Comments

The Ministry of Transport advised that they are “aware of the BTOA’s planned protest tomorrow at the Transport Control Department” and this afternoon [Feb 6] the Minister of Transport Wayne Furbert “emailed the BTOA to reiterate the Ministry’s commitment to open communication with the BTOA Executive.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport has advised “that the Ministry is aware of the BTOA’s planned protest tomorrow at the Transport Control Department. This afternoon, 6 February, the Minister of Transport Wayne Furbert emailed the BTOA to reiterate the Ministry’s commitment to open communication with the BTOA Executive.”

In the email to the BTOA Executive, the Minister of Transport wrote: “I have received information that the BTOA will stage a protest at TCD tomorrow. This is disappointing news.

“As I’ve stated in email correspondence with the BTOA Executive and most recently at the meeting held in December 2023, I recognize the importance of continuous communication in fostering a collaborative relationship between the Ministry and the Executive and members of the BTOA.

“At our most recent meeting with the BTOA executive in December 2023, our discussions focused on the details of our harmonization and modernization efforts. Our discussions covered various potential aspects, such as dispatching changes, increasing lift capacity, permit payments, and ensuring taxi owners have access to newly created lift capacity. We also discussed proposed taxi rates to include the following:

  • Revising rate 3 to extend the hours
  • Increases in tour rates
  • Increases for rates 1 and 2
  • Reducing the age of children to allow them to be counted as a passenger
  • The new proposed amount is $600 per year to reduce payroll tax for taxi owners. Previously, taxi owners paid an average of $3,000 in payroll tax per annum, subsequently reduced to the current owner payroll tax model of $1,000 per owner per year.

“The primary objective of these meetings held in 2023 with the BTOA Executive was to ensure that the BTOA general membership comprehensively understands our initiatives. As you stated in your 30 January 2024 email, “The BTOA Executive feels that our acting as a middleman at this time is ineffective and causing great animosity among our members who feel that we are not working hard enough for them.”

“As I’ve expressed to the BTOA executive, we will meet with your general membership. This meeting will provide an opportunity for further clarification, address any remaining questions, and ensure that all members are well-informed. I want to emphasize again that the Ministry is actively working to secure the necessary rate increase approvals before April 1st.

“Regrettably, I will be travelling on government business tomorrow to discuss air service development and will not be available. I am grateful for your commitment to staying informed and engaged. I want to reaffirm my dedication to providing clarity between the Ministry and the BTOA executive.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    The BTOA is tired of Wayne Fubert talking but not doing anything in reality? How can that be?

  2. Pa says:


    The Government collects import duty on the Taxi vehicle .

    Next the Goverment comes back again to collect license fees, a second tax if you will.

    May be the BTOA could ask Government to reduce the licence fees. Every penny counts these days.

    The problem that Bermuda is competing for the Tourist dollar with other countries and, I might add Bermuda is not New York

    I recently conducted an expence and liability expence account for the taxi owner, unfortunately ,to find out that the taxi business is not financially workable.

    This inflation is taking food off the table.

    The Taxi vehicle is at least a $60,000 item and more on the road , A taxi cabs does not last for ever neither do their tires just to be picky. if you can get 5 year you are lucky .

    The busses may not last that long either .

    All you guy need to sit do a put the fact down.

    I pay $25. fr 6 miles that is no bargain either Wh fdo yu think I am Rockafella.

    Bermuda is not a tourist trap , our visitors are just like you and I.

    May i say that our taxi drivers are Bermuda Ambasidors.

    All this in fighting gets this country no where either they are for us or against us plain an simple. as the is no middle ground.

    The minister is a brilliant mathmatition he knows the deal.

  3. BTOA need to monitor the dress code of all their divers. The standard has gone way back. They also need to have taxi drivers to turn their meters on when they have passengers in the car ( the correct rate). Finally these vehicles with the license plate with T is designated as taxis and not chauffer vehicles (Traffic Officer need to do more spot checking)

  4. Pa says:

    Sounds like the taxi owners need an arbitrator .
    Taking the matter on to the streets fighting with Government is not a good idea and also does no look good for Bermuda especially during slow season, at lease all that does not disrupt the tourist industry, that one up for the taxi / owner / driver.
    May I say that the taxi owner business with it over and exhaustive expenses, driver during peek season are forced to work beyond normal safe working hours is hard going .
    A taxi is not a bedroom.
    The taxi business is a one way street who pay for the taxi to come to your door for the pick up.
    How many people want to work after dark, not you and I.
    Taxi ownership and as a driver it is call PIECE WORK with of time lost waiting for businness to show up.
    Roaming the taxi is not viable it costs wear and tare gasiloine and risk
    Frankly all this escalated cost of living .

    There is a need to sit down and work out an economic solution .

    We are one big family here weather you like it or not we have to all pull to getherwe need to unight and not fight simply because it is not healthy .

    Paying the mail girl $17 bucks hour is vitrually criminal , are they paying her to be miserable ?

    Bermuda !we all need to get of our rear ends and do something,

    it is the 11 th hour unless you don’t know it.

    We have 10 ,000 car here is that 10,000 reasons not to hire a taxi .

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Taking the matter on to the streets fighting with Government is not a good idea”

      It seemed to be a good idea on 2 December 2016. What has changed?

      • Pa says:

        We are looking at a double edged Sword here .
        The power of the vote has not changed .
        Bermuda does not want to price its self out of the market by tipping the scale in favour of higher prices.
        There is alway two sides to every issue the taxi competes with the public buss .
        We can bend the branch till it breaks
        Here is one, plane lands at airport no taxi on hand to greet the thing .
        We are paying $9.oo for gas no subsidy there, that does leave the taxi owner driver much for food and rent.
        We have two seasons one is virtually empty .
        Many situation gets sweeps people under the rug.
        So what does the taxi driver do ? go fishing !
        Surely you know the old story.,living in a seasonal two teer economy.
        “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.
        The working class get it in the back every time .

        ” The thinkers don’t think !

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          “Bermuda does not want to price its self out of the market by tipping the scale in favour of higher prices.”

          Bermuda priced itself out of the tourism market in the 1980s. That has not changed.

          As for the cost of living in Bermuda, we get what we vote for. We have voted for a government that has put us $4 billion or so in debt on our current account (a similar debt exists in unfunded pension liability that no one ever talks about). We, the taxpayers, must pay for the interest on that debt. There is no pretence that we are paying down the principal debt.

  5. PA says:

    An insurance company sent me an e mail two months ago for January that my rate was going up by10 %

    The taxi must carr comprehensive insurance for the benifit of the passengers.

    Can the taxi owner/ sent me a e mail informing me that my rate per mile is going up ?

    I dont think so !

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