St. John Tradewinds News

Virgin Islands Taxi Commission to Provide Handbook

ST. THOMAS — A top official of the VI Taxi Commission is expected to pay a call on St. John taxi drivers Monday, August 1. Executive Director Levron Sarauw, speaking at a commission meeting last week, said he would bring along a draft of a handbook for the drivers’ review.
Representatives from groups representing taxi drivers holding medallions are being invited to a meeting on Oct. 13 to ratify the finalized handbook.
Sarauw declined comment when asked at a July 26 commission meeting about what the handbook spoke to. According to a knowledgeable source, the draft is most likely a revised training manual which has been in the works since 2010.
Taxi commission board chairman Sweeney Toussaint said he wanted to circulate the final draft among the various taxi associations on the three islands to get their feedback prior to ratification.
The taxi association serves drivers holding 1,904 medallions territory wide. Toussaint said once association members added their input, the final version would be passed on by final approval.
“Once the associations have reviewed it, the document goes to Government House for final approval,” Tousaint said.
Sarauw said he would assist in the delivery of draft handbooks to association offices. The delivery to St. John, he said, would come on Monday, August 1, 2016.
Other discussions at the July 26 meeting addressed how best to reach independent drivers who don’t belong to taxi associations.
Both the commission and the Dept. of Tourism have worked with taxi and tour operators to help them become transportation professionals and VI hospitality ambassadors.
“(The) taxi commission may have held 3 training classes specifically for new taxi driver applicants,”  said Judith Wheatley, owner of Wheatley Taxi and a commission official.  “It teaches them about the business they getting involved in.”
Wheatley described a study guide given to new drivers.  She said it contains rules and regulations, historical facts from the three islands, cultural information and different points about road numbers or names.