Tourists from a cruise ship speak to a taxi operator last Thursday. Taxi prices increased on Dec. 7 for the first time in 12 years. (File photo: FREEMAN ROGERS)

To help taxi drivers address rising costs, Deputy Premier Kye Rymer recently approved taxi rate hikes that will primarily affect cruise ship passengers visiting the territory.

The new fares — which are included in an amendment to the Road Traffic Regulations that was Gazetted on Dec. 7 — up prices for island tours; for trips from the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park; and for passengers from cruise ships docked offshore at Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada.

Fares for passengers taking an hour-long island tour on any major island were increased by $15 per person and now start at $70 per person for one or two passengers.

Additionally, fares to certain beaches from cruise ship embarkation points were increased by up to $4 per person each way for groups of two or more, and new rules were set in place for children.

“We have updated the fares for taxi tours to all destinations in the Virgin Islands and island tours, as well as the cost of travel between cruise ship disembarkation and popular locations throughout the territory,” Mr. Rymer said.


The fare increases were agreed following a meeting with stakeholders on Oct. 31, according to a government press release issued last Thursday.

The majority of meeting attendees voted for the increases and “proposed the now revised passenger fares amendment,” the release stated.

Mr. Rymer noted that the last official taxi tariff took effect on Nov. 26, 2010.

“It is our hope that the new fares will allow our hardworking taxi and tour operators to earn a fair income as they provide quality service to the public, considering the domestic and international economic factors that affect them as they provide this service,” Mr. Rymer said.

Children’s fare

Previously, children ages 3 and younger rode for free; ages 4-10 were charged half price; and ages 11 and up were charged full fare.

The new regulations state that taxi drivers will now charge half fare for children “5 years and younger,” while children “5 years or older” will be charged full fare.

The wording appears to overlook children who are 5 years old, but as of press time the Beacon was unable to get clarification from the ministry.