While many senators of the 24th Legislature spend countless hours and days lamenting on the Legislature's new vehicles, they are unwilling to comment on the Westin St. John Resort's new vessel to transport passengers to the hotel.
For many years the issue of the water taxi has been opposed by me, for I saw an attempt to drastically eliminate the need for the land-based taxi. Vessels like the Wild Thing, Kon Tiki, Party Girl, Island Girl and Bad Boy would pull alongside WICO dock while the cruise ships are in port and take away 300 passengers while taxi operators sat like lonely Maytag men at the dock.
Westin St. John Resort has decided to cut St. John ferry and St. John taxis out of the loop by transporting hundreds of passengers by water vessel from St. John docking facilities to St. Thomas's Crown Bay Marina dock and back. Also seriously affected by the Westin Resort's plans are Red Hook Taxi and Sebastian Taxi. The taxi operators at the Cyril E. King Airport may be next. While the focus is on new vehicles, water taxi is pushing its way in and the land-based automobile taxi operations are being forced out.
On Tuesday, June 18, Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole and I met to discuss the harm that is being done to the land-based taxi operators. Senator Cole and I are in the process of pressing for protective legislation for the taxi industry.
What's your focus, the new vehicles or the new vessel?
Sen. Celestino A. White Sr.
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