The Transport Authority is dismissing a claim being made by at least one taxi association that its members have the right to charge passengers for merely sitting in their vehicles, even if they exit before the vehicle takes them to their destination.

The contention was occasioned by an incident on Sunday, involving a taxi operator who’s a member of the Spanish Town Taxi Association.

Citing a ‘policy’, the taxi operator demanded that a passenger pay the fare even though she had decided to exit the car before it left the taxi park in Spanish Town.

The taxi operator quoted what he says was a ‘policy’ that requires passengers to pay their fares, as long as they enter the car regardless of whether the vehicle takes them anywhere.

The passenger from whom he demanded the money, was a school-aged child. Our News Centre sought clarity on the issue from the Spanish Town Taxi Association.

Its Director, Mark Hamilton, says there is indeed a policy which addresses the issue.

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Nationwide News asked Mr. Hamilton, what would happen if the taxi, after picking up passengers, encounters mechanical challenges while on the journey.

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He maintains that passengers who change their minds about traveling with a particular operator are still obligated to pay their fares. He says this so-called policy is outlined on the Transport Authority’s website.

The Transport Authority’s website outlines a fare structure, listing $82.50 as a base rate and $4.50 as a per kilometer rate. But, it doesn’t mention anything about a passenger’s obligation to pay this $82 once they’ve entered a public passenger vehicle.

Meanwhile, Corporate Communications Manager at the Transport Authority, Petra-Kene Williams says that’s because what the taxi association director outlined is inaccurate.

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President of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services, Egeton Newman, says taxi operators should collect fares once the passenger enters the vehicle.

But, he says passengers who change their minds after entering the vehicle, shouldn’t be charged.

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