PHOTO CREDIT – CHANTELLE ROCHESTER
New rate sheet for Knock Patrick Commuters.
The rate sheet shows up to 66% hike for off route commuters. With the fare being raised from $150 JMD commuters are now being charged $200 JMD for a short turn offs and $250 JMD for longer turn offs.
MANDEVILLE, Jamaica – Members of Knockpatrick Taxi Route Division (KPTRD) have issued warning to commuters stating that refusal to pay the extra $50 JMD to $100 JMD for off route destinations will result in legal action against them.
A photo of the new rate sheet was released by the KPTRD and has been circulating on various social media platforms as means of sensitizing the public but failed to give reason as to why the increase was made.
According to KPTRD the price hike is the result of taxi men wanting to comfortably balance overhead cost for their vehicles without incurring weekly financial loss. As a result, an additional 66% increase in fares has been implemented by taxi drivers along this route.
“It is really important that we contribute our fair share for services. We as taxi men have been lenient with passengers for the past ten years, as off route fees has not been raised since 2009 yet route fees have been increased twice by the government.” said member of KPTRD Edtardo ‘Kartel’ White.
He added that if they were to treat turn offs as chartered drives, passengers would pay over $500 JMD per person, per turn off, and they understand that it will be a bit much, hence the small increase in the fares.
The Jamaica Taxi Association staff says that off route destinations or charters are an agreement between commuters and Taxi men, and they cannot interfere with the decision made by the KPTRD.
The new rate came as a shock to passengers as many are not in agreement with the sudden hike in prices. Single mother of four Pearline ‘Miss P’ Webbe says she is shocked by the sudden hike in fares and fears for her children lives as she may not be able to afford to pay the new rate for turn offs. “I don’t think I can afford it, they should have given us some time, and I will have to pray my children do not get robbed or killed while walking home from the main road,” she said.
Echoing similar sentiments is Northern Caribbean University Business student Shenelle Brook who says she currently pays an average of $5,000 JMD per month for fare but will now pay over $7,000 JMD with the increase and needs to know what she is paying for. “I would like some clarifications on this sudden increase in fares, I now have to find over $2000 JMD extra for fare. They should’ve have taken time to sensitize the public before the increase,” she said.
KPTRD says despite complaints they will continue enforcing payments of new fare rates from both children and adults.
The fee for turn offs was $150 JMD and has been raised since March 4, 2019 to $200 for short turn offs for example: any destination along Cedar Grove entrance road but, would incur an additional $50 for destinations further into the community.