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UVI, Taxicab Commission & Tourism Partner on Taxi Certification Program

UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS (April 11, 2018) – The United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has partnered with the University of the Virgin Islands and the VI Taxicab Commission to implement the new Taxi and Tour Operator License and Badge Certification program for USVI taxi operators.  The partnership represents the first time all three entities have come together and will be the first time operators will be required to undergo training in order to obtain a license. 

The UVI Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning Center (UVICELL) will develop a comprehensive program geared towards equipping taxi operators with the skills needed to enhance the visitor experience and ensure repeat business.  Along with the required key competencies, the courses provided will include VI history and culture lessons to participants who interact with visitors on daily basis.

“Enhancing the visitor experience is a key component of our marketing strategy,” said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “Our team is strategically working with public and private sector partners to enhance our transportation service. As frontline ambassadors, it is imperative that we equip our taxi operators with the necessary tools needed to deliver exceptional service,” she stated.

The program participants must be approved by the VI Taxicab Commission and will be rolled out in two parts.  The first phase will provide certification for new taxi license applicants while the second phase will provide continuing education certification for existing licensed operators. The first class for new operators will begin in early May, as the territory celebrates national Tourism Month. Classes will be held on St. Thomas for St. Thomas/ St. John Operators and on St. Croix. Information on scheduled classes can be picked up at the VI Taxi Commission in both districts, UVICELL or on the newly launched Taxi Cab Commission website.

The certification program will consist of four sessions, ending with the certification exam. Upon program completion, participants will be eligible to receive an Operator’s License, and a uniquely numbered I.D. card showing VI Certification. Once certified, participants will be required to engage in annual professional development

“We’re extremely pleased to enter this agreement with the Department of Tourism and the Taxicab Commission,” said Ilene Garner, Director of the UVICELL Center.  Our Taxi and Tour Operators generally serve as one of the first points of contact for visitors to our shores and we look forward to enhancing our tourism product through additional training of our taxi operators,” continued Garner. 

“This partnership will allow the Taxicab Commission to provide the level of education and training required for 21st Century delivery of transportation services”, said Executive Director, Levron Sarauw. He further commented, “the training will cover rules and regulations with a focus on improving community awareness and reinforce the importance of tourism to the Territory’s economy within a structured program.”

The UVICELL Center was developed to meet the needs of the territory for workforce and professional development training as well as provide services for businesses, non-profits and government agencies.  Services include Workforce and Professional Development training; Customized Corporate and Government training; and other Consulting and Professional Services. For more information on the Taxi and Tour Operator Program, please contact UVICELL at 340-693-1100 or visit http;//cell.uvi.edu.