142 new taxi permits, 97 new bus permits issued last year

142 new taxi permits, 97 new  bus permits issued last year

A bus on Front Street.

 PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) issued 142 new taxi permits and 97 new bus permits in 2023.

TEATT Minister Arthur Lambriex released the figures while presenting his ministry’s budget in a Central Committee meeting of Parliament on Tuesday.

Lambriex said that of the 97 new bus permits that were issued, 47 were issued to former assistant drivers. Of the 142 new taxi permits issued, 77 were given to former assistant drivers.

A number of concerned taxi and bus drivers had condemned the decision last year to issue new bus and taxi licences and had written to the Integrity Chamber seeking an urgent meeting to address what they called the “indiscriminate issuing of bus and taxi licences” in an already-overcrowded market. The letter dated November 26, 2023, was copied to the Prosecutor’s Office, the governor, prime minister, TEATT minister, the Parliament of St. Maarten and the Police Force’s Traffic Department.

The concerned bus and taxi operators stressed at the time that despite extensive efforts by bus and taxi operators to explore avenues for improved earnings, the recent surge in new operators had compounded their struggles. They contended at the time that this sudden influx into an already limited market was creating a dramatic and disruptive situation.

The Daily Herald

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