Categorized | National News

Taxi and Surrey Drivers Outraged Over ID Renewal Process

Disgruntled taxi drivers and surrey cab drivers swarmed the outside of the Port Department yesterday, complaining of the “tiresome” and “unprofessional” process to renew their port identification cards which would enable them to work on port grounds.

With five cruise ships coming in today and workers claiming that they’re being denied access to the port’s grounds, the taxi and surrey cab drivers are concerned as to how they will find money to feed their families for the next few days.

More than 20 workers were among the frustrated crowd who waited for their names to be called to receive their new valid Port Identification Cards.

According to Christopher Miller, he and other cab drivers were trying to renew their license for the past three months, only to be repeatedly informed that the machine was not working.

Mr. Miller said without notice, Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers and security guards at the port very rudely and unprofessionally shut the gates of the port on Saturday, Sunday and Monday stopping them from making money over the past weekend.

He and other cab drivers, all upset, told The Bahama Journal of their experience.

“Now they closed this so if your badge is not up to date Saturday and Sunday you couldn’t step foot in here,” he said.

“It hurt a lot of people. A lot of brothers left here without making money so now today they should’ve known it would’ve been an influx of drivers coming here to get their identification renewed. So now we are here with our $25 to pay for our new I.D. cards with our application forms and we have been here from between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. this morning and right now I am still sixth out. What is the difficulty? Our problem is not that we can’t get our new badges, but it’s the fact that the process is taking too long. It is extremely frustrating.”

In addition to the workers not being able to make money, scurry cab drivers were highly upset about the inhumane mistreatment of horses that were in fact licensed to be on port grounds.

According to the workers, these horses were forced to remain in the heat and were deprived of water as they were forced to park in taxi slots just inches away from ongoing traffic.

“What they did to the horses was so wrong,” said Travis Musgrove, a local surrey cab driver.

”The horses were licensed to be inside of the port. Even if they left us out the gate the horses have all rights to be inside the gates with their water under the same. This is so wrong, I feel like those working in the port and RBDF officers should be dealt with accordingly because it was so inhumane. The horses had to park outside and they even got tickets from the police. How is that right?”

Adding fuel to their fire, RBDF officers stationed at the Port Department’s security office told workers shortly after 1 p.m. that no one else would be served after 2 p.m. despite four and even five hours of waiting.

The workers called the officers and administrators at the Port Department inconsiderate.

They argued that the workers did not care that they needed to make money to feed their families.

“We came here to get our badges renewed and they said it’s a cutoff point at 2 p.m.,” said Ruthmae Ferguson, a taxi driver.

“I’ve been here for four hours and they’re telling me if I don’t get served by 2 p.m., I have to start this line all over tomorrow. How is that right? We will be missing all of the tourists tomorrow. That’s big money we’re losing.”

Our news team made several attempts to speak to Port Controller Patrick McNeil who refused to speak with us.

The workers are calling for Mr. McNeil to provide a more swift and professional service at the Port Department.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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