Days after the travelling public was told that North/South taxi drivers would delay increasing their fare, the majority of drivers have increased the fare of $22.
Last Friday, San Fernando to Port-of-Spain Taxi Drivers’ Association president Hayden Whiskey called a press conference and announced that their June 1 fare increase from $17 to $22 was delayed to September.
However, the majority of the membership disagreed with that position and asked Whiskey to step down.
The drivers subsequently went ahead with their initial decision to increase the fare.
After widespread criticism by the public to over their announcement that the fare would be increased, the Association held a press conference on May 21 where Whiskey outlined the reasons why the increase was necessary.
Then last Friday, Whiskey held another press conference stating that the Association had a change of a heart. However, yesterday the Association’s vice president, now acting president Kenneth Williams, sent out a notice advising the public that the fare was increased and apologised for the miscommunication. Williams told Guardian Media that Whiskey made the announcement without the support of the majority of the drivers and they have since asked him to step down. He said the increase was necessary at this time because the drivers were unable to provide for their families and meet their commitments operating with 50 per cent passenger capacity. When contacted Whiskey admitted that the majority of drivers did not agree with delaying the increase, but he did what he thought was the right. “They asked me to step down and I did. I stand by my decision.” Whiskey, however, said he will continue to charge $17.
“I made the decision and I will keep my fare at $17 until September 1. I am a man of honour, my word is my honour.”