#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2018 – Providenciales – About 90% of Taxi drivers stationed at the Providenciales International Airport were earlier this week peacefully protesting, what they believe are too many courtesy vehicles operating into and out of the airport and cutting into their earning potential. Ron Higgs is president of United Taxi Alliance, talked about the problem and beckoned for officials to agree to a meeting.
“It’s no one thing that bought us to this point, it’s the totality of things. Nonetheless in the last day and a half, it reached the boiling point to where taxi drivers were suspended unfairly, without having the chance to state their position or the facts. We’ve reached the point to where taxi drivers are now having to sit at the airport paying for access, as the CEO said, to operate at the airport but not getting jobs because drivers who are not paying, who doesn’t work at the airport can be called by anybody to come to the airport and do those jobs.”
A meeting has happened now, but on Sunday and Monday there was quite a dramatic scene as 20 bus taxis and mini vans circled the airport pick up and drop off zone, slowing the flow in what is already a tight spot.
“We want it to abundantly clear, we are no longer willing to accept promises with no immediate action.”
When we were there, members of the Royal Turks and Caicos Police were too cautioning the drivers to keep it peaceful, advising them not to create any traffic congestion but the officers did not stop the rolling protest.
“While we understand what harm this can do to our economy and the likes, we want you to take a second to ask yourself, what harm has been done to your brother and sister.”
The issues are years old for the drivers, who have now expressed their concerns to the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority which manages the airport and to the Government, which licenses the drivers and sets up the road rules for taxi operators.
By: Deandrea Hamilton