Taxi operators still grateful despite ‘slow’ start to cruise season
Taxi operators are grateful for the opening of the cruise ship season despite a slow first day with regards to passenger traffic.
According to Director of the Taxi & Livery Commission (TLC), Jevaughn Parsons, day one “was a fairly slow day being that we received just over a hundred passenger on today’s (yesterday, Wednesday, October 13) ship. But they (the taxi operators) were prepared and came out in numbers to receive passengers”.
Parsons also noted the taxi operators were in full compliance with the protocols put in place by the government as everyone was eager to transport cruise passengers.
“All of them started the cruise certification refresher that took place earlier this week. They were certified and ready to participate,” the TLC Director said.
Taxi operators who wish to participate in the cruise passenger transportation service also have to undergo sanitisation and inspection protocols under the watchful eyes of the BVI Ports Authority security team.
“Simply put… Once drivers arrive to partake in the cruise transportation on the morning of our cruise ship arrival, they will be inspected by BVI Ports Authority security. They will have visual inspections, making sure the vehicles are in working order and taxi operators are wearing adequate uniforms. Also, they are making sure the operators have adequate sanitary equipment,” Parsons stated.
He said once this process is completed, operators are let through the park gate to do transportation. Parsons also said the procedure for the return of cruise passengers is similar for operators.
“Once they are finished with transportation for the day; they drop off guests at the Pier Park. They are also required to stop into the sanitisation station before they leave the facility. Once the requisite information is logged and requirements are satisfactorily met; the operators are free to leave,” the director said.
Parsons added that the tourists were able to visit two approved locations — Cane Garden Bay Beach and Long Bay Beach in Beef Island.
The cruise ship which docked is called the Seabourn Odyssey. It docked at approximately 7 am Wednesday morning and the cruise passengers were reportedly not able to interact with local business owners.