NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 08, 2019) — The Nevis Taxi and Tour Bus (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed unopposed at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly which sat in Chambers at Hamilton House on October 08, 2019.
The bill was tabled by Hon. Mark Brantley in his capacity as Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA). He noted that the amendments to the parent legislation, which was enacted in 2012, underscore the importance of setting and maintaining high standards for the taxi sector, a key player in the island’s tourism industry.
“Taxi drivers who are on the frontline have to prepare themselves and that is why we are here today to let them know that we continue to insist on the best possible standards. We continue to work very closely through the Ministry of Tourism on training, on equipment and taxi drivers with the necessary skillset, and we must ensure that we have the legislative framework in place to allow us to have the best possible partnership with our taxi and tour bus operators.
“The aims of the legislation, since 2012, were to address the industry concerns specific to the taxi subsector, to encourage taxi operators to work together and to cooperate with other tourism industry stakeholders, to define and enforce a code of ethics, to regulate the behavior of taxi operators…
“We are holding them to a high standard because they are the ambassadors for the island and if the government is going to invest in them through duty free and through train and through all of these then we are asking them respectfully to be responsible and to conduct themselves in a responsible way in terms of their interaction with guests…
“We have among us a number of people who say they are taxi drivers but only do so on a part time basis and so as a result of that perhaps do not treat it with the seriousness that it deserves and so, the code of ethics is important. The levels of discipline and professionalism among taxi operators in Nevis is critical and we have absolutely to ensure that we continue in, that vein that we have the best possible representation,” he said.
The bill was one of two tabled and passed during the sitting. The other was the Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2019, introduced by Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Physical Planning.
Other bills tabled and received their first reading were the Nevis Animals (Trespass and Pound) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 presented by Hon. Alexis Jeffers Minister of Agriculture and the Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill, 2019 presented by Hon. Mark Brantley, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance on Nevis.