Are airport taxis still charging a flat rate?

| 14/08/2019

Can you clarify whether the flat rate taxi fares from the airport are still in effect? Or did those change? The previous rate sheet had a separate section for rates from the airport, which were a little bit lower than if you calculate by the mile

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: This question came as a comment on a recent story on the taxi rate increases, which came into effect 2 August. To cover all the bases of this question, officials from the Public Transport Board, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) and the Ministry of Transport provided input.

Under the new national taxi fare schedule, the rate from the airport is based on mileage to the destination and number of passengers, with first two pieces of luggage free and $1 per piece over that. The separate rates that you reference no longer apply. Where previously dispatchers at the airport could often quote the set fares to various locations, this will no longer be possible since they won’t know the exact mileage.

But with the launch of the CI:GO app, a Cayman taxi fare calculator, customers can determine their fares in advance. The CIAA has confirmed it will be purchasing smart phones for its airport dispatchers “so that in the event they are asked by customers for the rate, they will be able to pull it up on the CI:GO Taxi Fare Calculator app. During busy times, this won’t be possible to do for every customer and our team will continue to depend on the taxi driver to provide the fare to the customer for their trip.”

However, the CIAA also explained, “Taxi drivers are not mandated to use the app, however they are required to quote the new taxi fares as in the regulations amendment. The CIAA and Public Transport Unit have hard copies of the national taxi fare schedule available. Additionally, a quick reference guide to popular destinations will be produced to assist in the transition to the new taxi fare schedule.”

Now, even though you didn’t ask, this seems like a good time to offer information on the changes to taxi fares not involving the airport. A transport ministry official set out how the new schedule will affect the price of a taxi ride, with some fares going down: “In many instances taxi fares under the new taxi fare schedule provide greater benefit to the travelling public and the rates for shorter distances, particularly trips under a mile, now cost less than they did previously.”

As an example, the new fare for four people travelling less than a mile will be CI$5.60/US$7; under the old schedule, the trip would have cost CI$10/US$12 for four passengers and CI$8/US$10 for three people.

In addition, the dreaded late-night surcharge is gone, so that between 12am and 6am, passengers will not have 25% added to the fare.

There was also a 20% surcharge applied for each additional passenger over the minimum three but this has been replaced by a flat rate with a new minimum of four passengers. Translation: instead of paying an extra 20% for each additional passenger over the first three, there is now a standard rate of CI$5.60/$7 for every person over the minimum of four.  

Overall, the taxi fares have gone up, but some of the changes noted above could result in a cheaper ride.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Transportation Questions

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Our taxi from the airport to Rum Point is now $140 US instead of $72. Crazy, crazy increase.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL you pay that much?? Buddy I will drive you for $50 bucks and carry your bags for you into your house!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think we should have a standard bus service running to seven mile beach specifically for tourists. We advertise ourselves as a high class destination and I believe the reception at the airport should be part of the experience. I’m sure the hotels would be willing to assist in payment for this.