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Mapp: Taxi Drivers Will Have To Complete Continuing Education To Maintain Licenses

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Gov. Kenneth Mapp

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Gov. Kenneth Mapp forwarded a bill to the Legislature to provide for an appropriation of $550,000 for operating expenses from the general fund to the V.I. Taxicab Commission and for the implementation of mandatory continuing education for taxi and tour operators as a condition of license renewal.

“For too long the Taxi Cab Commission has operated on the backs of hardworking and struggling taxi and tour operators by taking advantage of them by assessing heavy fines, levies and fees,” Mapp said. “Taxi drivers and Tour operators have been assessed penalties as high as $1000.00 for first offense infractions that a non-taxi driver would be assessed a fine in traffic courts for $75.00. We cannot statutorily mandate that an agency regulate an industry and then that agency target the citizens it is regulating to collect sufficient revenues to pay the salaries and expenses of the regulators.”

The bill further provides for the requirement that every taxi driver and tour operator be required to take certified continuing education courses of not less than 12 hours per year as a requirement for license renewal, and it won’t just be online traffic school courses, they will be actual on-road refresher courses enabling them to teach road safety and laws to those who may have forgotten during a long career of driving and making different habits.

The Department of Tourism will collaborate with the University of the Virgin Islands to provide training opportunities throughout the year to ensure that each driver can meet the minimum of 12 hours education annually to maintain their transportation-for-hire license.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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