Why Pet owners pay more

If you bring your dog or cat to St. John, be prepared to pay up to $120 to get from the airport to Red Hook.   The main reason for the high price is a $90 fee for an "exclusive taxi" plus kennel fees to make up for luggage the drivers miss by carrying fewer people.

The president of the V.I. Taxi Association said there is no policy requiring pet owners to travel alone with their pets. "People can talk with the driver and try to work out something," he told the Virgin Islands Daily News.  But taxi drivers and dispatchers told the newspaper requiring exclusive taxis is not negotiable because other passengers might be allergic to animals.   

Andrew Rutnik, Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner, told the paper he brought complaints about the policy/non-policy to the taxi group several weeks ago.  He was told the association does have an exclusive taxi policy.  "They felt their insurance policy would be jeopardized if someone had an allergic reaction," Rutnik told the Daily News. "I asked if it was a little dog under someone’s arm, was it OK?, and they said no."

3 thoughts on “Why Pet owners pay more”

  1. Is there some reason why a taxi driver can’t ASK other (potential) customers if they are allergic to cats or dogs? What if a customer is allergic to the perfume another customer is wearing? Are the taxi drivers liable then? Get real! FYI, I’ve had to roll down the window in an air conditioned taxi because of the oder from the driver’s after shave, in order to avoid a migraine. I didn’t sue any one. What a s-c-a-m.

  2. As a pet owner, it sounds like discrimination to me. Maybe the taxi drivers would let us sit in the back of the bus? I bet if someone takes the time to research it they will likely find a law on the books that prohibits this as either price gouging, a violation of the agricultural and markets law, or of intrastate commerce. Shame on the taxi companies. I’m highly allergic with anaphylaxis to air fresheners that they hang in taxis, maybe I should sue next time I ride in one? Mr. Rutnick should be bringing a lawsuit which he would very likely win as he seems very capable. Its time that these “cattle-cars” they call taxis get better regulated.

  3. I faced that situation 7 years ago and ended up taking a gypsy cab. By renting St Johnable cars, friend pickups and using the Westin Ferry service have sucessfuly avoided that crowd since then.

Leave a Comment