Minister of Transport Responds to BTOA Ahead of Planned Protest

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, the Hon. Wayne Furbert, JP, MP, 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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