For those who want to leave the car at home, especially now with the alcohol controls, there is still no good alternative transport, according to the Caribbean Network. The system of public transport and also taxis is outdated.
The only public transport on the island is the bus. But in the absence of a good timetable and routes that have not been adjusted for decades, taking the bus is certainly not an alternative to leave the car. The large ABC buses also run until 6 o'clock in the evening, after that no more. The small buses no longer run after 8 p.m.
Legislation from 1969
The Minister of Traffic, Transport & Spatial Planning, Zita Jesus-Leito, is aware of the problems with public transport: “I know that public transport must be better organized and that taxis must provide better service. We are currently working on this. Public transport, as now regulated with the permit system, will be the first to act, because the legislation dates back to 1969. We hope to be able to start improving this as soon as possible. ”
Long waiting times and high rates
What remains then are taxis. About 200 taxis drive around on Curaçao. Day and night. But local people don't make much use of this. One reason for this is the long waiting times and the price. “The pressure on the taxi industry has become far too great. Taxi is a luxury product. Normally in other countries, travelers can choose between low budget or luxury transport. There is no such choice here, ”explains Tasha Silooy. She is the founder of taxi association and company Dutch Caribbean Taxi Association (DCTA).
Rumors that Uber is coming
Taxi is a luxury product, says Tasha Silooy of the Dutch Caribbean Taxi Association. There was a particularly enthusiastic response on social media to the rumors that Uber would settle in Curaçao, although these rumors are nowhere confirmed. Uber guarantees lower prices and shorter waiting times. Many residents say on social media that they will take a taxi if prices go down and the waiting time decreases. But the taxi drivers on the island do not want to know about this.
Coaches take all the work
Because they are already suffering from the coaches used by hotels to pick up guests from the airport, for example. “Taxis have maximum fares. These have been established by the government. For one to four people, it costs approximately $ 40 to get from the airport to your hotel. The taxi driver is often waiting for hours at the airport for this. Coaches, on the other hand, are not tied to legal rates and often charge these kinds of amounts per person, ”says Natasja (photo), owner of Dushi Taxi.
Unfair competition because the taxi drivers have high costs, she explains. "A taxi license alone costs $ 40 a day." Natasja does not think that the taxi rates with all those costs can also go down, 'because then the drivers cannot survive'.
The Caribbean Network, with a network of local journalists, follows developments in Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba and the Caribbean community in the Netherlands. Caribbean Network is a product of the NTR.
By Kim Hendriksen