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2004-07-18 00:23:57

Pirate Cab Drivers Destroying Bahamas Vacations

Licensed cabbies refuse to turn on their meters, overcharge customers and harass females passengers.

Spring Break is one of the busiest times in the Bahamas as tens of thousands of US teenagers descend upon the islands to celebrate the rites of Spring.

It is also open season for pirate cabbies who rip-off the young visitors by refusing to turn on their meters, overcharging passengers and even harassing female riders.

An independent company monitered over 100 taxi trips during this year's Spring Break season by having selected visitors record data for their cab rides. All the taxis monitored were licensed cabs.

Every single cab driver who was monitored did not turn on their meters when the ride started, despite it being a requirement by law. All but one cabbie, out of the dozens monitored, refused to turn on their meters even after being asked to do so by the passengers.

There was a wide discrepancy in fares, ranging from $12 to $30 from the same spot downtown to Cable Beach.

One cabbie took his passengers on a wild goose ride over-the-hill when they were trying to go from the Bahama Boom Club to the Hilton.

Two different cabbies stopped for gas while carrying passengers, instead of gassing up while their cabs were empty.

Several female passengers complained of sexually abusive remarks from taxi drivers and numerous individuals complained of gruff or rude attitudes on the part of the cab drivers.

Pirate taxi drivers aren't just causing problems for Spring Breakers. Twice this year, in both Freeport and Nassau, taxi drivers terrorized tourists by yanking visitors off tour buses and demanding that the visitors ride in taxis instead.

Calls to the Taxi Union went unanswered and complaints to the Ministry of Tourism were treated as a nuisance by the persons who answered the phone. 

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