Thu | Feb 2, 2023

We are really suffering – taxi operators

Published:Friday | June 4, 2021 | 12:09 AMGareth Davis/Gleaner Writer

HOPE BAY, Portland:

Irate taxi operators, who staged a peaceful protest in Hope Bay Portland on Wednesday, are now directing their anger and frustration at what they described as the escalating food prices and the high cost for fuel at the pumps.

Scores of commuters were also left stranded in the west Portland town of Hope Bay following the strike by taxi operators, who are not only demanding a rollback in gas prices, but are also calling for the implementation of price-control measures as it relates to the recent increase in basic food items, including flour, rice, and chicken back.

The more than 30 taxi operators took to the streets from as early as 7 a.m. on Wednesday in a peaceful protest.

“Gas price is at its highest now and we are really suffering as a result of the continuous increase in fuel prices,” said Hansel Harris, a 56-year-old taxi operator who plies the Hope Bay to Port Antonio route.

“The focus is not about fare increase at this time, as the commuting public simply cannot afford that at this time. However, we realise that the price of chicken back, poor people meat, has moved from over $80 per pound to $170 per pound. So it is really tough on residents who have to travel by taxi,” he lamented.

“Minimum wage needs to be higher, as this hand-to-mouth thing is not working out. We have to be transporting less passengers each trip due to COVID-19 regulations, and the curfew hours has affected us badly. We would like to get a fare increase, but it would be hard for the public to handle that at this time, “he added.