Good Morning, Good Morning! Last month when Teddy and I flew to Puerto Rico to bring Asante home for the season, we were a bit surprised when the taxi driver requested $50 as payment upon drop off at the airport. We didn’t say anything about the higher-than-normal requested rate that usually is about $20 per person, but the silent exchange between our glances must have been apparent. The driver explained that if we had got a ride a few days earlier it would have been less. But the rates had just gone up. I recalled seeing a headline about this at some point and thought, “Aha, the rate increase went through…” So, in order to keep all of you from being a bit taken aback on your next trip, I wanted to share the details on these new rates with you!
Last month, taxi fares in the USVI increased, reflecting the first change in rates by the USVI Taxi Commission since the late 1970’s. The small increase in fares encompasses the rising cost of living in the USVI as well as the recent hike in gas prices. Did you know that anyone who is legally operating a taxi in the territory has to have a taxi medallion to do so? These medallions are often passed down within a family but the cost to purchase the coveted “license” is in the realm of $60k!
Licensed taxi vehicles are labeled with a taxi placard or dome light on the roof, license plates that indicate Taxi status, On Duty/Off Duty sign in the window of the vehicle and a sign, usually on the fender, indicating passenger capacity. The drivers personal identification/taxi license should be on the vehicle’s dashboard.- VI Now
Additionally, the majority of our licensed taxi drivers own and operate their vehicles so the upkeep, the rising cost of gas and downtime due to maintenance all falls on the individual operator! So, the recent increase in rates is absolutely not surprising given the overall inflation of living costs here in the USVI. Here’s what you need to know about the rate increase if you are visiting St. John.
First, for all of you first-time visitors out there, cash is king when it comes to taxi services on St. Thomas and St. John. So, when you fly in, make sure you have cash for your ride to the ferry. Based on our experience, that rate is now $25 per person one way (we each had one bag). Also, there is no meter on taxis down here. The flat rates, as seen below, are designated by the VI Taxicab Commission and are dependent upon your departure location and final destination.
Also, don’t expect a direct drop off unless you are paying for a private cab. Most taxis will wait until their vehicle is full of passengers when leaving from a hot spot like the airport, the ferry dock, Cinnamon or Trunk. So, do expect to meet some new friends on your ride to the beach or back to town. And do expect for several stops on your way from the airport to the ferry.
Another quick taxi tip is to pre-arrange your pick-up time at drop off for some of the more “off the beaten track” destinations on STJ. For example, if you are taking a taxi to Salt Pond for some beach time and hiking arrange with the driver who drops you off to return at a set time to get you back to town safely. Cell phone service can be spotty around St. John, so it is best to air on the side of caution and set your pick-up time in advance for destinations such as Annaberg, Salt Pond, Francis, hiking trailheads not located on the main thoroughfares of North Shore Road or Centerline between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, etc.
Ok, here are the new taxi rates as of October 24, 2022 as taken from VINow.com:
|CRUZ BAY TO/FROM:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Beth Cruz/Upper Deck||9.00||8.00|
|Chateau de Bordeaux||14.00||11.00|
|Desoto Bock House (East End)||38.00||23.00|
|George Simmonds Terrace||12.00||9.00|
|Goat Path/Maho Bay Beach||17.00||12.00|
|Great Cruz Bay||9.00||8.00|
|Little Maho Bay Campground||20.00||14.00|
|Rendezous Bay (Klein Bay)||15.00||10.00|
|Reef Bay Trail||14.00||11.00|
|Vie’s (East End)||38.00||25.00|
|CORAL BAY TO/FROM:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Blomingdale (Freeman Ground)||9.00||8.00|
|Caneel Bay (via Northshore)||20.00||14.00|
|Desoto Bock House (East End)||18.00||9.00|
|George Simmonds Terrace||14.00||11.00|
|John’s Folly School||9.00||8.00|
|Maho Bay Beach||12.00||9.00|
|Trunk Bay (via Centerline)||29.00||20.00|
|Trunk Bay (via North Shore)||14:00||11.00|
|Vie’s (East End)||12.00||11.00|
|GALLOWS POINT TO/FROM:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Maho Bay Beach/Goat Path||17.00||13.00|
|Maho Bay Campground||20.00||14.00|
|CANEEL BAY TO/FROM:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Chateau de Bordeaux||20.00||14.00|
|Coral Bay (Via Centerline)||27.00||15.00|
|Coral Bay (Via Northshore)||20.00||14.00|
|Lamishur (via Northshore)||35.00||20.00|
|Maho Bay Beach/Goat Path||15.00||11.00|
|Maho Bay Campground||18.00||13.00|
|Salt Pond (via Northshore)||30.00||18.00|
|WESTIN RESORT TO/FROM:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Chateau de Bordeaux||18.00||15.00|
|Maho Bay Beach/Goat Path||18.00||15.00|
|Maho Bay Campground||23.00||17.00|
|Neptune Landing/Windmill To/From:||1 PERSON||2+/Per Person
|Goat Path/Maho Bay Beach||20.00||17.00|
|Maho Bay Campground||27.00||20.00|