Just had a woman come from Chetumal on the boat. The taxi driver charged her $15 USD to bring her to our place. I have never had a taxi driver charge more than $10 BZ from the pier to our place. I need to turn this guy in. He was bold enough to give her his name, email address and phone number.
I am shocked by this and wonder if anyone else has had the same incident happen to them. It really is aggravating because I tell the guests what to expect in terms of paying for a taxi, and now this.
That's about as bad as the US$25 taxis charge to Las Terrazas (legally). Of course that does include the BZ$12 vehicle fee to cross the bridge.
Travel to North Ambergris on a distance basis costs more than New York City cabs charge. In fact, based on the New York City rate of US$2.50 on entry plus $2 a mile (plus 40 cents for every minute of wait time), it's more than TWICE as much as NYC rates.
And I don't know that the golf cart path is any worse than some Manhattan streets.
I think there are a few new taxi drivers here that don't actually live on the island. My last guests were brought down by some guy I have never seen before and didn't speak english. I had to give him DIRECTIONS on how to get my guests back to Carts Belize one block north of Tropic Air. And once there he tried to convince them he deserved a commission. I thought the taxi associations were supposed to keep these rogue drivers in check?
The Lesson is that everyone should ask how much before you get into the cab. If you don't like the price tell the driver or get another cab. This is no different than buying wood carvings or checking expiration dates on groceries.
I recommend that each of you work with a specific taxi driver with whom you work out a rate ahead of time. We have been doing this for years and it avoids most of the issues.
A first-time tourist arriving by water taxi from Mexico may not clue what the rate should be or how far the hotel is. That's where rules and regulations -- or metered cabs -- come into play, with serious penalties for the drivers who don't live by the rules. San Pedro doesn't need any tourist rip-offs.
Hotels that provide a pick-up (if they know when the guest is arriving) or that pay for any taxi that brings guests don't have that problem, but that's not necessarily a good solution for a small property.