Taxi drivers suffering from traffic plague in Castries
Taxi operators are irate over traffic congestion in the city, which they say is affecting their daily earnings.
President of the National Taxi Union, Lucien Joseph, is calling on the government to address the traffic congestion which occurs in the city circuit once there are cruise ships in port.
“Everywhere has traffic, it’s like a disease, it’s like a plague,” Lucien declared.
According to a taxi driver who operates at La Place Carenage, “If on a normal day a driver doing six trips, now he only doing half that because the tourists don’t want to stay in traffic, and it’s so difficult to do anything; it taking too much time.”
Apart from acknowledging taxi drivers benefited from record occupancies as a result of the summer festivals, Lucien says taxi drivers were not part of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s New Year’s Address or plans.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee, however, disclosed plans are in the making to address the traffic situation once cruise ships are in port.
“We continue to work with our OECS Tourism Project to enhance the Castries basin to work on the general façade of the area and also to improve the traffic situation because tourism should not disrupt the lives of local citizens and we want to reduce that as much as possible so we are looking at the traffic arrangements in Castries and how we can cushion the blow it would have on pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic as well and people that are looking to do business in and around the city center,” Fedee said.
“I know there are contracts that are going to go out for tender for the construction of some of the designs which have already been approved in some of the areas, so that is moving ahead with great pace,” he added.