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News : New Providence Last Updated: Mar 10, 2019 - 6:56:03 PM


Bahamas Taxi Cab Union Launches Partnership with Global Ports Holding
By Maya Nottage
Mar 10, 2019 - 12:52:35 PM

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Members of the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union met with executives of Global Ports Holding and the Downtown Nassau Partnership to exchange information and begin preliminary discussions about plans the cruise port. From left to right: Perry McPhee, Prince George Wharf Taxi Association Trustee; Davinci Simms, Bahamas Taxi Cab Union Trustee; Sulayman Khalfani, General Secretary, Bahamas Taxi Cab Union; Colin Murphy, Head of Business Development (Americas), Global Ports Holding; Ed Fields, Managing Director, Downtown Nassau Partnership; and Frederick Wallace, Chairman, Prince George Wharf Taxi Association.

Nassau, Bahamas - Executives of the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union (BTCU) and the Prince George Wharf Taxi Association formally met with representatives of Global Ports Holding and the Downtown Nassau Partnership last week regarding the redevelopment of Prince George Wharf. The group included Perry McPhee, Prince George Wharf Taxi Association Trustee; Davinci Simms, Bahamas Taxi Cab Union Trustee; Sulayman Khalfani, General Secretary, Bahamas Taxi Cab Union; Frederick Wallace, Chairman, Prince George Wharf Taxi Association; Colin Murphy, Head of Business Development (Americas), Global Ports Holding; and Ed Fields, Managing Director, Downtown Nassau Partnership. Global Ports Holding will operate the new cruise port, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., under a 25-year leasehold concession. Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. is a majority Bahamian-owned company, with Global Ports Holding equity at 49%, and 51% owned by the YES Foundation and the Bahamas Investment Fund (BIF).

“We had a great introductory meeting which I think marks the beginning of a very positive relationship between Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. and the BTCU, with the support of the Downtown Nassau Partnership,” said Mr. Murphy. “The BTCU is very keen on ensuring that its members are a part of the redevelopment process, and we understand and appreciate that.”

Sulayman Khalfani, General Secretary of the Union, shared his thoughts about the meeting on behalf of the organization’s President, Wesley Ferguson, and its members.  “The meeting went well. Mr. Murphy took the time to listen and learn about how we currently operate, and we offered suggestions and shared some of the concerns our members have raised about the project. He gave us some clarity about how Global Ports Holding plans to move forward and engage key stakeholders in this process. We found their use of technology interesting and can see real benefits to our industry. It was an important first step in helping us to forge a strong partnership that will benefit taxi drivers, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., and the cruise passengers. We look forward to this partnership improving the lives of our members and fellow Bahamians. This project has been a long time coming.” 

Mr. Ed Fields offered, “There are exciting things happening downtown that are bringing stakeholders together that will lend to the success of its transformation. The meeting between the BTCU, GPH and the DNP shows how folks with a common cause can work together and overcome challenges as long as all concerns are on the table for consideration.”

Mr. Murphy added, “Our proposal is about the positive transformation of downtown and the cruise port and creating opportunities for Bahamians. We don’t want to take anything away from the taxi drivers or make it more difficult for them to survive.  No one should have to sleep at the dock to be able to make a living. Our goals are to help taxi drivers generate more revenue and enhance their business model where needed through improved organization and other forms of support. This only works if we work together.”

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