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Monday, February 26, 2024
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Water Taxis Could Solve the Problem

Dear Source:
The Virgin Islands Port Authority and Princess Cruise Lines have reached an agreement concerning the use and funding of the new Crown Bay docking facility and this is a good thing. However, the issue of passengers whose cruise ships dock at Crown Bay having easy access to the rest of the island without enduring the current gridlock problem along the waterfront appears to be still under discussion. Darlan Brin is quoted as saying, "there are other ways" to get to locations throughout the island without having to go downtown. What other ways? Main Street and Back Street are similarly clogged up. Over the mountain? A scenic route part of the way for sure but an expensive one at that.
The same problem exists for tourists arriving by air who want to get to their East End hotel destination. After a sometimes very long flight they just want to get to where they're going as quickly as possible so that they can chill out, relax and enjoy. That long road taxi trip can be both very prolonged and discouraging.
I have never understood why the majority of taxi drivers has continuously opposed the concept of water taxis. What better revenue- making venture? The V.I. Taxi Association members could purchase variable shares in a water taxi operation which could easily run from Crown Bay to waterfront to East End and all points inbetween and it would be a profitable win-win for everyone. The land taxis won't suffer. Their owners will profit from their stake in the general operation, the tourists will be truly thankful for the alternative. What is the problem?
I recall that a local ("bahn here" no less) entrepreneur tried to set up exactly this kind of operation many years ago and gave up when his water taxi was vandalized and his person and family were threatened. The taxi operators in general just got mad against one of their own who had some foresight.
Come on, you taxi drivers! I know so many of you from way back. You need to get into the real world and look for opportunities which connect you to today and the future. Old dogs can learn new tricks and sometimes you just have to adjust to a world that is continually changing.
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

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