Trail’s new taxi service is only a couple of weeks old, but has already had a positive effect on local business.
Trail Taxi can be seen around town picking up and dropping off customers and Ferraro Foods has the new company’s phone ringing off the hook.
Danny Ferraro from the popular local grocery store says the new business, an extension of the Creston Cab Company, is a vital service for his customers and is in high demand.
“Some days we call 20 times, but I would say on average, at least two or three times a day,” he said.
“Some days are busier than others, but it is all about the seniors who don’t have licenses anymore. That is who it has really impacted. I think we needed this service and I think they are doing a great job. I haven’t heard one complaint.”
Jeff Boag, owner of The Arlington Bar and Grill, says in his case, no news from customers is good news.
“I haven’t had any calls saying, ‘I want to come to the bar, but I can’t get down there,’” he said. “I haven’t heard a thing and that is good in my books.”
Ken Parker owns the Creston Cab company and the vehicles in Castlegar and Trail and he says everything has been running smoothly.
“We have invested in vehicles in all those places, and I think that everything is going great,” he said.
“Some good news is that we have been able to employ the past drivers that were employed at (Champion Cabs) and they say they are happy to work for us.”
As with any new business, there is a bit of a learning curve before everything is set in place, and Parker says the one issue that has come up has to do with changes in procedure.
“The way we would like (paperwork) done is different than the way the (drivers) have done it before,” he said. “It is just a bit of fine tuning.”
The company is already expanding its service in Castlegar and has the licensing set up to add another vehicle to Trail in the future.
“We are approved to have two vehicles in Trail, two in Castlegar and two in Creston,” he said. “We are in the midst of putting in a second one in Castlegar because we have contracts with Canada Post there. We are already approved (for a second vehicle in Trail) and getting a licensed vehicle wouldn’t be difficult.”
The company is also looking to partner with different municipalities, including Trail, to set up a discount taxi program as an alternate, or in addition, to handyDART from BC Transit.
“(handyDART) doesn’t go everywhere and it doesn’t run 24/7 either,” said Parker. “Sometimes you need a trip to the country and we are capable of doing that. (With the Taxi Saver Program), people could get a $10 book of taxi tickets for $5.”
The savings program has not been put in place yet, but the company hopes to see start offering the service soon.