Taxi fares are up! As of today, customers of the one fifty taxis will have to pay an added fifty cents. This has been one of the first decisions that have been made by taxi operators that have been charging one dollar and fifty cents for trips to and from the park and Trial Farm Village after they formed the United Two Dollars Taxi Union. The men took the decision to unite into a union following several challenges faced since they began their runs. President Wilbert Aragon told us today why they have decided to increase their fares.

Wilbert Aragon – President

“They are making changes in the traffic department as far as parking and where you can pick up passengers so we are trying to adopt to these changes so it is not going to be a $1.50 taxi Union but it is going to be a $2.00 taxi Union now because we have now increase from 1.50 to 2.00 so we are responsible to paying the pickup an drop off parking zone which has been given to us from the traffic department so that is the main purpose we are doing these changes right now.”

Aragon says that although they have been assigned a parking area, they can only use it at night time.

Wilbert Aragon

“We are not going to be able to park there during the day but the space which they allotted us which is the front of Ignacio Vega building we will only be able to pick up and drop off passengers there coming from Trial Farm and going to Trial Farm so the parking space will be a permanent parking space from 7 to 6 in the morning for exclusively only for the $2 dollars taxi service so that is one of the agreements that the traffic department has given us so that is why we have to pay a fee because of this agreement to the town because they have allotted us the exclusivity of that space only at nights but during the day it will be for all the taxis to park there but we will have exclusivity to park there in the evenings.”

The union has forty members and have elected an executive to represent them. Not all drivers of the one dollar fifty taxis have joined the union but hopefully most of them will says Aragon.

Wilbert Aragon

“There’s not going to be a full unity because you know there are people with different opinions and different ways of doing things we created a Union and I think we have the majority of the member and hopefully the other members may join our Union also because if they don’t they might have some consequences later as far as I was told by Mr. Lima and there are some changes that are coming concerning the taxis out there so it might have some effect on them afterwards.”

According to the Union, this is a first in many other efforts to improving the services they provide to the Orange Walk Community.