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Sharing taxis from the airport

| 07/03/2017 | 33 Comments

Is it correct that taxi drivers from the airport can charge the same fare to each passenger going to the same area? We had to share a taxi from the airport to a SMB hotel and had to wait while a passenger was dropped off to the Marriott only to be charged the same fare to go to another hotel. Surely there should be a reduced fee for sharing rides?


Auntie’s answer: Let me start by saying I understand your frustration. Logically, it doesn’t seem to make sense that the taxi driver earns the same fare on every passenger going to nearly the same place. As you suggest, a reduced fare for sharing might be a solution. After all, the driver is going there anyway. However, if you look at it another way, why should the driver lose out on fares because people decide to share the ride?

Well, the definitive answer to your question comes from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), which allows passengers to share taxis from the airport if they are travelling to the same place or in the same vicinity. An official explained, “The policy is that each party is required to pay the full fare to their destination even when sharing. Fares are not split. It is also the policy that passengers have to agree to share the taxi and understand that they will pay their full fare before they are dispatched.”

In addition, the dispatcher must ask if all the passengers agree to share, which usually only happens if there is a shortage of taxis, according to the CIAA.

Last point: Passengers should never be forced to share and can choose simply to wait for the next available taxi.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In ALL civilised countries one fare if there’s 1 passenger or 101 passengers in the taxi and the passengers share the cost between them. Never in my entire life have I heard of a fare that’s say, $25 and the taxi charges that per person??? What a rip off!! A fine start to a holiday of things to come in Cayman. This is why Brits holiday everywhere else in the Caribbean and not Cayman, and this is why Cayman is the richest island in the Caribbean because they are well known for ripping people off. Such a shame for such a beautiful island with beautiful people. We in the U.K. All want to visit you Cayman, please spare a thought for working class people here in the UK.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think that all taxis who work in Cayman should own a 5 passenger seated taxi. They should be metered. They should charge 1-5 passengers going to one location. They shouldn’t share ( going to different locations). Then the system would be fair ? Then of course do we go the bar and share drinks? Do we go to the restaurants and share food ( come on honey eat half of my steak) ? When we go to diving, shopping anything , do we share ? You’re getting the same service or product. Why don’t other businesses like dive companies that act like a taxi or a bus share? I mean we could charge just for distance to say stingray city or the wall on 7 mile beach. Just think of how many more divers and snorkelers would come because of the discounted boat ride. How about insurance , doctors in the military they could do stuff line up by the hundreds we could drop injections to pennies . I hope we can understand a little bi more now. Taxis work the same way, have a nice day.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d settle for clean, emissions-compliant, and roadworthy. Many of our buses should be ineligible for renewal – how do they pass?

  3. just asking says:

    ALL you have to do is read the back of your airport taxi receipt it tells you about the fares and it is GOVERNMENT APPROVED ASK THE MINISTER OF TOURISM.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you ever want to be remended that you’re in the third world, just take a taxi somewhere.

    • The time has come for UBER on Grand Cayman. The number one complaint visitors have is the disastrous taxi service. The taxi operators on island are rip off artists El Supremo. UBER NOW ON GRAND CAYMAN and end the pain for visitors.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Going to brunch on SMB we all met at Sunset House to share the cab. There were 6 of us (3 couples). Each couple was charged the same amount. So much for sharing. Next time we’ll order 3 separate cabs just for the principle.
    If this is the way it is, and you KNOW the taxi’s get an argument, maybe they should tell the rules before you get in. That would avoid any confusion.
    Something about one price for the first 3 people and then it hikes up for each additional person. Where and more importantly, WHY, they get this equation is beyond me. WHY??

    • Hot baller says:

      Dear anonymous, the fare for the first 3 people is correct, each additional person will be charged 1/3 of the total fare, if there are 6 people then you pay two fares.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Take a look at the 2012 Traffic regulations, available in full here: http://www.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/11528801.PDF

    5. Conduct of a driver: (5) In the course of his business of carrying passengers for hire or reward, the driver of a bus or taxi – (e) shall, in respect of each journey in which he carries a passenger in the course of his business, select the route for the journey which (subject to any direction from the passenger) he reasonably believes will provide the passenger with the shortest journey time;

    6. Refusal to carry passengers (5) The driver of a taxi shall not carry any person as an additional passenger in his vehicle without the voluntary consent of the passenger he has already agreed to carry in the vehicle.

    7. Identification and Information (2) The driver of every taxi shall, while plying for hire, display in the vehicle …. a fare distance table in a form approved by the Board

    9. (1) The driver of a taxi shall not carry on any business of plying for hire or carrying passengers for hire or reward unless the taxi is fitted with a taximeter. (2) No taxi with a taximeter shall, at any time, be used for plying for hire or carrying passengers for hire or reward unless the taximeter has been tested and approved by or on behalf of the Board.

    So….according to the above, taxis must provide the shortest journey time for the paying customer. If you are going to South Sound, then a route that involves a stop on Seven Mile Beach will put the driver in breach of the regulations. The problem is that the driver is in breach of so many of the regulations anyway (no displayed fare table, no taximeter etc.) that breaking one more rule really doesn’t matter. Besides, the Public Transport Board does not enforce any of them anyway.

    What I would say is that they are not all bad. Some of them…perhaps most of them…let greed get the better of them and will let down their profession and the reputation of their country’s tourist product for an extra buck. I have had some terrible experiences with Cayman’s taxi drivers, but I have also met some really pleasant drivers who have charged reasonable fares. So let’s not tar them all with the same brush. The most important thing, especially when sharing a ride, is to agree the fare before you get into the cab. At most restaurants, bars and clubs, there is usually more than one driver waiting to pick up a fare, and if the first one does not agree to multiple drops for one agreed fare, just move on to the next.

    Question for Auntie…..is either the CITA’s fare schedule, or the Public Transport Board’s recently produced fare schedule, available for publication? It would be really useful to have these to hand, because on occasions that drivers have tried to charge me excessive fares, they have often been less than forthcoming with documentary evidence of the “proper fare”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I second this – where can we get a copy of the rate sheet? If they are going to insist on using this antiquated system – which is clearly being used to rip off customers – the rate schedule should be publicly available so that we can make sure taxi drivers are actually using it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I get free taxis rides all the time. I get to my destination, ask to see the prescribed fare board citing the regulation, they never have one and I explain they are not entitled to ply for hire without that board so that giving them the money would be money laundering and I cannot commit a crime.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We (the passengers) are the ones that need to put a stop to this. Tell the dispatcher that you prefer not to share unless the fare is discounted. Drivers would rather take 3 people at 50% fare than one person at 100%.

  8. Cabbie says:

    Meters!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s a shocking rip-off and even worse that it’s many people’s first impression of Cayman. In New York you can get a cab across town for about $15. In Cayman you pay $25 to go three miles in a shared van that keeps stopping to drop people off. The service is no different to the $2 buses.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So how do we change / challenge this? A petition perhaps, for those of us who don’t have the ability to vote? (not that Taxi and introduction of Uber would ever be mentioned by anyone standing for election…which is a shame, as Uber would offer an efficient way for Caymanians to earn extra cash and make the transport system in Cayman move smoothly….imagine 3 people sharing a car and taking two cars off the congested roads!!!)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Uber!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Policy smolicy. They are entitled to be paid a reasonable price unless the price is specifically agreed in advance. A reasonable price for sharing is less than the reasonable price for taxi to yourself.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If in the u.k , Canada , the states or pretty much anywhere else in the civilized world you share a taxi home with a friend who’s house is on the way to yours you can share a cab and the driver will just charge the last person being dropped . Its common for the first person out to give the last person a share of the cost or the amount to the first destination . But not in Cayman ! After a night out with a friend and having had a few drinks we decided to do the right thing and get a taxi . My house was about 5 miles from the bar and my friends about 3 miles and on the road we needed to drive down to get to mine. When reaching my friends house he asked ” how much to here ? ” she replied 22 dollars ( where she got this figure is anyone’s guess ) my friend gave her 25 and she made no attempt to give him any change . He shrugged it off and we set off the extra two miles to my house . When we got there I said how much now ? ” 25 dollars ” was the reply . I argued and she threatens to call the police. We all know how that would of ended , poor Caymanian taxi driver being shortchanged by drunk expat .
    It truly is shocking and there needs to be the introduction of meters , rules and god forbid Uber .
    In cases like the one at the airport someone’s first impression of Cayman was greed .
    At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask .

    • Anonymous says:

      Meters? Yes. Stricter regulations? Definitely. Uber? Never, they make the airport drivers look like paragons of virtue.

    • Anonymous says:

      The way around this is for everyone yo get out at the first stop, pay the $22, then get back in and take the cab for the final 2 mile leg, that way they can’t argue anything. Obviously it’s debateable whether the cab will take you the final 2 miles, or let you get in, you can of course order another cab…with the wait.

  14. Anonymous says:

    They do not ask you if you would share! They just shove people in. It’s horrible that this is the first impression tourist get when they arrive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. This happened to me as well. I was at the top of the line at the airport and CIAA said I will be sharing with other passengers. When I clarified whether it was a reduced rate the taxi driver said no. I refused to share and CIAA placed other passengers in the back of the queue ahead of me. I eventually had to call for a taxi for pick up in the airport. Interestingly none of the other persons in the queue backed me up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! After a long day of traveling delays and chaos, we’ve arrived home many times to Cayman exhausted, waited our turn at the taxi dispatch, and loaded our family and bags into a cab destined for our gov Harbour area home…only to be left sitting in an idling taxi while CIAA continued to assign further and further passengers for supplemental hotel stops at full rate for everyone. No consent given by any, least of all us, the original passengers! These are terrible first impressions for our overnight guests! CIAA, DoT and CITA should make sure there are sufficient taxis for guests at the airport when they know planes with hundreds of passengers will be landing – the same ones, at the same times as yesterday – and the day before that! No excuse! How can our various Tourism organizations pretend they don’t know guests will be arriving, when this is their career occupation?!? Someone senior from DoT should be made to grab a clipboard and stand there regularly to witness how bad our Cayman Islands visitor arrival experience actually is, and how wrong we get things that should be easy to manage and improve! We should want to improve these things! It matters!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yeh, based on the question I would believe they were not asked to share a taxi and seems a bit of a scheme run by the taxis who assume people don’t know the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not the law. It is a rip off. They are entitled to a reasonable fee – so shared taxi means shared costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been told to get out of my taxi at the airport “and wait for another one” if I didn’t like the idea of sharing at full cost with two other families going to other places. The gouging is out of control. There is no published complaint/fare dispute process nor passenger rights, if there are, they should be posted clearly on the window of the taxi for all to see, along with fare zones, taxi operator card, and photo ID. It should all be transparent and easy to understand.

  16. V says:

    It is a criminal enterprise. They are shameful. Truly shameful.

  17. Anonymous says:

    arrr we r pirates and that is how we do it

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have had this experience and definitely was not asked beforehand. The taxi driver dropped us off in South Sound after dropping passengers on SMB. No discount. Total rip-off. Will not let it happen again.

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