Movement at the Cruz Bay waterfront, above, will take center stage as the governor recently transferred ownership of the area, long under the purview of the St. John Taxi Association, to the V.I. Port Authority.
In the aftermath of a Superior Court decision evicting the St. John Taxi Association from the Cruz Bay taxi stand by November 30, Governor John deJongh, has taken steps to address the area’s efficiency as the entry point to the island.
“We have been given an opportunity that I believe in the long term is in the best interest of how this area can be managed for the community as a whole and for our visitors,” said deJongh. “To achieve this objective, I have discussed with the Virgin Islands Port Authority transferring ownership of the taxi stand from the central government to them.”
“There is a natural synergy with the ferry traffic arriving at the Loredon L. Boynes, Sr. dock in Cruz Bay,” said the governor. “The Authority has the staff on St. John as well as the operational experience of managing taxis, limousines and other vehicle for hire services.”
The ownership transfer would facilitate VIPA’s ability to issue a Request for Bids from taxi associations that may be interested in operating the downtown St. John taxi stand which is located in close proximity to the ferry terminal.
“I have instructed Commissioner Lynn Millin Maduro of the Department of Property and Procurement to work with VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe towards finalizing an agreement to transfer the property,” said deJongh. “While the court has ruled that the St. John Taxi Association must vacate the taxi stand, my Administration’s greatest concern is that VIPA has the full ability to ensure taxi operations at the dock will be orderly and we will not witness the chaotic atmosphere of the past.”
DeJongh’s Administration will work in tandem with the leadership team at VIPA to complete the transfer agreement as efficiently as possible, explained the governor.
“The taxi stand in downtown Cruz Bay is located at the gateway to the island for thousands of residents and visitors who arrive and depart from St. John each day,” he said. “We can ill afford a taxi operation at such a critical location that is not being operated effectively.”