Champion Cabs has moved out of Trail and Creston Cab Company is driving in.
Ken Parker, co-owner of Creston Cab Company, saw a vacant spot for a taxi service in Trail and Castlegar and is in the process of filling that spot.
The new branch of the Creston Cab Company is already up and running in Castlegar with one car on the road, and another vehicle to be added to the Trail area by next week – less than two weeks after Champion Cabs closed its doors. Parker says he will keep residents informed on when the Trail branch of the company is in full service.
“We have a vehicle out in Vancouver right now getting fitted with meters and decals,” said Parker. “We are paying for our driver in Castlegar to fly out to Vancouver and drive it back to Trail. It will be here pretty soon.”
The company will be hiring the drivers who were previously employed by Champion Cabs and Parker says, along with the same drivers, the new taxis will be providing the same service and even a little extra.
“We can do long distances, for example, to Creston or Cranbrook, just call ahead,” he said, adding that the company will be available for trips for Teck employees, bar closings and hospital visits. “We are definitely open to starting up contracts with (Teck and the hospital) and just provide service where service is needed. We even have a boosting service. If you are stranded we can come and give you a boost.”
The phone number for the Trail taxi service isn’t set up yet, but Parker says they will be online by Friday.
“We’ve had people calling the numbers already,” he said. “They are on their way and should be set up later in the week.”
The company is starting small with one taxi vehicle in each city, and Parker hopes it grows to a couple of vehicles in both Trail and Castlegar.
“We are going to have one vehicle (in Trail) at the beginning, but if the need is there, we will add a second one,” he said.
The process to get a taxi company set up usually takes a few months, said Parker, but the company managed to get licensed in just a couple of weeks.
“When we realized there wasn’t going to be a cab company in Trail and Castlegar, we put in an urgent public request to start up faster,” he said, mentioning the reason the application was rushed was because otherwise, there would have been no taxi transportation service in the two cities and contracts previously signed between the old cab company and different groups would no longer be honoured.
The Trail branch of the Creston Cab Company will be in full service with the first vehicle on the road as early as Friday.