Bus and taxi 
offences on the rise

Complaints against bus and taxi drivers jumped by 15 per cent between 2011 and 2012. 

According to data on offences reported to the Public Transport Unit between 1 January and 11 December last year, released in response to a Freedom of Information request made by the Caymanian Compass, 424 offences were reported, compared to 370 for the whole of 2011. 

Among the complaints were 130 lodged about bus drivers failing to complete routes. In 2011, there were only 29 such reports. 

Complaints issued to the unit are dealt with by the Public Transport Board, which regulates the operation of public passenger vehicles in the Cayman Islands. The board issued warnings to drivers in relation to 286 of the infractions last year. It also suspended the public transportation permits of three drivers and did not renew the permits of another three due to disciplinary offences. 

Under the Traffic Law, the board can suspend a permit for up to six months if “a person has conducted himself in such a way as to cause annoyance or nuisance to any member of the public, or generally to bring himself, the Islands or the operation of tourism in the Cayman Islands into disrepute”. 

A dozen of the reported offences from last year were still awaiting a board hearing by mid-December, according to the information released through the Freedom of Information request. 

Other offences reported to the board included 131 cases of taxi, omnibus and tour bus drivers soliciting or picking up passengers in restricted areas, 16 cases of drivers operating defective vehicles, 61 cases of bus drivers operating off assigned routes and 45 cases of what is described as “inappropriate behaviour”. 

Of the 424 complaints, the board found 63 were not substantiated and 27 of the incidents were referred to other government departments. 

The number of disputed taxi fares reported to the Public Transport Board fell from 10 in 2011 to seven last year. 

The board also found 16 drivers were operating without a public transport permit. The Traffic Law stipulates that all operators of a public passenger vehicle must have a public transport permit issued by the board.