Cabs are an essential service

Concern regarding the Champion Cabs' reduced hours and service in light of them possibly closing their business permanently.

As a last resort I have to phone my mom, who lives in Rossland, and ask her to make a trip to Trail at 10  at night to drive me from KBRH to my apartment on Bay Avenue in downtown Trail.

“That’s absolutely ridiculous”, you say, “I would just call a cab.” I would too except that Champion Cabs only has one cab on the road right now and they cannot operate it at night because, of all things, it doesn’t have working headlights.

It seems that Mr. Foglia, owner of Champion Cabs, doesn’t deem my need to get home after my four-hour dialysis run important enough to fix the headlights in his cab and because of his lack of concern for the citizens of Trail and surrounding communities, my mom has to make a 20km round trip from Rossland to take me from the hospital to downtown Trail. Really? Does this sound right?

The whole point of having a cab service is to help out those who, for whatever reason, cannot drive. I am very lucky that I have family to rely on for transportation when I need it, but what about the people who don’t?

Is Mr. Foglia concerned about the senior’s who have relied on his cab service to help them run their errands or take them back and forth to appointments? Is he concerned with the people who rely on his service to help them get back and forth to work everyday, people like myself, who PAID for a cab twice a day to go to work and back for almost four months?

What about bar patrons who made the choice to call a cab instead of driving home intoxicated?

What about patients from KBRH who have relied on his service to get them home safely after a long stay in the hospital, a service that made it just one less thing to worry about? What about the coolers that I saw the cab drivers bring in to the lab at the hospital? What about the drivers who relied on this service as their livelihood? It seems that Mr. Foglia has not considered how important the cab service is in this community and just how many people are going to be affected by it being shut down….if they can ever determine when that’s going to happen. I have made two phone calls now asking if Champion Cabs is closing because I need to make other arrangements for transportation from dialysis three times a week, and the only answer I have received is,

“We don’t know.”

Really Mr. Foglia, don’t worry about it. I can always phone in last minute to see if the renal unit can accommodate me earlier in the day, it’s not like they have other patients, many whom I have noticed don’t drive, especially after a long dialysis run. I must extend a sincere thank you to the renal unit staff, who ARE concerned, and who are trying to help myself and other patients make other arrangements for transportation so our routines (staff and patients) are not upset too greatly.

Thank you to the cab drivers who got me home safely for the past year.

Thank you to Champion Cabs for being there for our community for several years, but when you’re the only cab company in town for Rossland, Trail, and Castlegar, you can’t just pull the plug. You have to realize you are an extremely essential service, especially after 5:00pm when the buses stop running.

If you can’t understand this, then you need to close and make way for another cab company to come in, one who won’t leave a family of communities stranded, left high and dry to make other arrangements, to have to cancel at the last minute, or to make the choice to drive when they are in no condition to do so.

Tricia Irvin

Trail, BC

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