Safari-Style Taxis a Thing of the Past?

safari truckOk folks, so there’s some more drama brewing with the island’s taxi situation and we have to admit, it doesn’t make us happy.

For those of you who have ridden around in an island safari taxi, you know how much fun it is to cruise down North Shore Road with the wind in your hair as you take in the island’s beautiful sites. Well it seems those days may be numbered due to a certain law that was created back in 2009.

This is a tad confusing, so please bear with us…

So back in 2009, the Virgin Islands Taxi Commission put into practice a new rule that sought to replace the islands’ open air safari taxis with enclosed vans.  This 2009 mandate created a “moratorium on licensing new safari taxis built by island fabricators and installed on ‘incomplete’ truck frames imported from the U.S. unless the so-called ‘after-market’ fabrication is certified as meeting federal standards for operation, according to the St. John Tradewinds News.

Well it seems that there aren’t any after-market fabricators in the territory who can certify a finished safari. So what does that mean? It essentially means that as it stands now, no new safari-style taxis will be made. And once the current safari-style taxis run their course, they will be replaced with enclosed vans.

Not cool.

Seriously, could you imagine riding around the island in an enclosed van? Neither can I.

So what can you do about it? Well our friends over at Active St. John created a petition and they’d like you all to sign it. Here’s a sample of what they had to say about it:

Does anyone think its good for tourism and residents of the Virgin Islands to replace the Safari Taxis with passenger vans? Does anyone want to have to get in/out of a single van door in traffic as we drive on the left and the vans passenger doors are on the right? 

How is this remotely safer? How could it be possible there are federal standards for operation for these Safaris? Can anyone imagine riding down a freeway in the states with a fully loaded Safari at 60mph and not getting arrested? The Safaris are part of the VI and must stay in the VI. Can anyone remember a Safari having a safety issue due to not having a federally-certified welder constructing these amazing vehicles? The sooner this gets repealed, the better … only you can make the difference to the VI’s future!

Interested in signing the petition? Click here to read it in its entirety and to sign it.