Today’s Editorial January 19: New taxi, bus rules needed

Many times taxi and bus drivers give visiting tourists their first taste of Cayman.

Visitors depend on transportation operators to pick them up at the airport or haul them away from the port when they come in off cruise ships.

The recent bickering between drivers in front of our guests is totally unacceptable.

We think so and so does the Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford.

Families don’t air their dirty laundry in public and neither should anyone in the tourism sector.

Mr. Clifford met with transportation operators Tuesday night to listen to their concerns and to advise them that changes are about to take place.

Tour operators will be invited to the meetings and discussions that will take place before any new regulations are adopted.

Those new regulations could see transport operators and drivers behind the wheels of standardized vehicles collecting standardized fees.

No longer will passengers at the Owen Roberts Airport be stranded without transportation on cruise ship days.

Those are just some of the items on Mr. Clifford’s wish list to straighten up the public transportation system in the Cayman Islands.

Those changes and others are desperately needed to clean up the system.

Mr. Clifford has promised that the changes won’t come quickly.

He knows that new rules and regulations must be thought out and carefully planned.

But he has given fair warning; those who don’t comply when the new rules and regulations come into effect will find themselves out of the public transportation industry and out of tourism.

He’s taking a good step at helping Cayman’s tourism product get better, something we can all help with.

From the eyes of a tourist, watching the chaos of downtown Grand Cayman when several cruise ships are anchored in Hog Sty Bay can sometimes be scary.

We must all act as ambassadors for our country when dealing with tourists, especially those whose job it is to transport our visitors.

It is the job of all of us to put on our best faces with a plan of convincing our visitors, especially cruisers, to come back to Cayman and spend a few days.