At the beginning of the month the increase in the General Sales tax kicked in. It went up to twelve and a half percent taking the cost of living even higher. And if that is putting a licking on consumers, fuel prices jumped another notch higher on Tuesday night with diesel up by twenty four cents at eight sixty. A gallon of premium gas now costs nine dollars and ninety five cents, up by six cents and regular remains at nine fifty six. Kerosene is also up by thirty two cents at seven dollars and four cents a gallon. The constantly rising fuel prices are hitting local taxi drivers hard. While some of the taxi drivers did not want to comment on camera, they did tell us that the increase is hurting their pockets. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.
Marion Ali, Reporting
Dinsdale Zelaya and Michael Flowers are two of the bold taxi drivers who were not afraid or ashamed to express how the rising fuel prices will affect their business.
Dinsdale Zelaya, Taxi Driver
“Yoh done di run fi wah small rate and den if di gas goh up more yoh might want raise soh yoh cud meet yoh demands but den yoh can’t raise because people ride less then. Ih throw off business big. Di only good day right now is maybe round payday, people got wah lee money fi cut round soh yoh might mek a little bit more dan right now but otherwise from dat.”
Michael Flowers, Taxi Driver
“Ih kill me because I have to goh ten miles every day. When I buy wah gallon ah gas dah like I buy three gallon cause dah one lee gallon dah one lee job and dat done, yoh know weh ah mean? I di run out ah gas too straight. When time yoh give dehn ten dollars, yoh noh get wah gallon ah gas. Like how we have oil, why fi we gas can’t goh down lee cheaper fi help di poor. If the prime minister want help we why ih noh start from di gas?”
“Di gas prices kinda rough right now because coming from the west is ridiculous because the government need to raise up on the bus fare soh we could do what we gotta do.”
The high costs have caused taxi drivers to curtail as much as they can on buying gas.
“Do you buy smaller vehicles, do you…”
“Dat dah weh yoh have to do, yoh have to try get di smallest yoh cud. My car dah four cylinder, GEO Prism and ih noh bon too bad but still ah feel it.”
“So now taxi fare is what?”
“Six dollars. We would like to go to seven but wi might lose customers.”
“Do you find that people take the bus a lot?”
“Yeah, plenty people ride did bus now, dehn noh bother wid taxi much.”
But while taxi and bus drivers are feeling the effects of the increasing prices, people who operate the pumps say sales have not gone down. Marion Ali for News Five.