Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2022

Taxi association alarmed about intention to issue more permits

PHILIPSBURG — The Dutch St. Maarten Taxi Association (DSTA) has sounded the alarm over rumors that the acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Omar Ottley intends to lift the moratorium on taxi licenses and that he is about the issue forty new licenses.

DSTA President May Friday confirmed the rumor and the unrest it has created in a written statement. “Word is out that the honorable minister of TEATT will be lifting the moratorium on the permits. Supposedly, forty permits will be issued,” she stated. The DSTA does not mention the minister by name and emphasizes that its statement is not a personal attack on him.

Nevertheless, the taxi association is not at all happy with this turn of events. “We are not in favor of the minister doing so without the reinstatement of the steering committee,” Friday stated. “The current state of our island’s main economy does not support a demand for more taxis.”

Friday suspects that other motives are in play. “The public transportation sector has been turned into a playing field for political leverage, government personnel’s interests and clouded judgment due to greed. These persons do not see the negative impact their personal interests are having on the tourism industry and the island’s main source of income.”

Friday adds that St. Maarten “may be the only place in the world where an island ambassador does not have to know anything about the very island they are an ambassador of.”

The taxi association urges Minister Ottley to do his best “to work in the interest of the people of St. Maarten. We are kindly requesting that the messy pile that has been created over the years does not grow into an even messier situation where the trickle down effects compromise the island in its entirety.”


Related articles:
Dutch side taxi associations join forces to clean up popular tour sites
Dutch St. Maarten Taxi Association (DSTA) elects new board