There are 284 taxis currently in
operation in the Cayman Islands, and 27 categories for vehicles that provide
some form of public transport in the country, according to figures from the
government’s Public Transport Unit.
According to Legislative Assembly
members – despite the large number of permitted taxis – there are a number of
taxi and public transport licences that are unavailable to people who want to
operate those services because the licenses are held by individuals who are no
longer providing those services.
During a June meeting of the
assembly’s Finance Committee, George Town MLA Ellio Solomon questioned whether
there had been a moratorium placed by government on taxi licences and if there
were those who currently held the licenses who weren’t using them.
At the time, Public Transport Unit
Director Durk Banks said that 32 people in the Cayman Islands had transport permits
but no vehicles.
“Isn’t it fair to say that there’s
still space for 32 vehicles to be operated?” Mr. Solomon asked. “There seems to
be 32 vacancies there.”
Mr. Banks confirmed that it did
appear to be the case, and that the transport unit was working to reduce the
numbers of inactive public transport licences in Cayman. In an email to the
Caymanian Compass last week, Mr. Banks said that number has been reduced to 10.
“The Public Transport Board is in
the process of removing persons who are not using their licences from the
transport pool,” he said.
However, the Public Transport Unit
is of the opinion that visitor demand in Cayman at this time does not warrant
an overall increase in the number of taxi or other public transport vehicle
“A recommendation was made from a
study conducted on the public transportation system…that no more taxi licences
be issued at that time until we saw an upsurge in the demand,” he said. “As
visitor arrival numbers have stayed steady with some increases, the total
volume hasn’t had a dramatic upswing which would call for more supply.”
Mr. Banks said the evidence now
shows that there is “adequate supply” in the Cayman market.
“The priority at hand is to ensure
timely transport servicing,” Mr. Banks said.