Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Taxi service concerns

An east end city councillor says the city may need a new taxi company if the existing cabbies can’t provide good service in Porcupine and South Porcupine.
Ward Two Coun. John Curley told city council this week he believes that taxi service in his area could be improved and if necessary he will push for more cab licenses and more competition.
Curley said he has taken complaints from citizens who call for a taxi only to be told that the car assigned to the east end is on a run elsehwere, and the wait could be up to an hour.
Curley used the example of a person calling from the Porcupine Mall who might want to go to Connaught Hill.
“They get told they might have to wait for an hour,” Curley told council.
“I don’t believe people should have to put up with that,” he added.
“There could be 20 cabs waiting in Timmins, but you can’t send a car to South Porcupine?,” Curley asked in frustration.
“If these cab companies are not going to service the east end of the city, then maybe we should allow for another cab company that will provide the service.”
Taxi licensing is done by the Timmins Police services board. Curley suggested to Timmins Police Chief Richard Laperriere that the issue should be discussed by the police board.
“Unless there is a change, and I hope to see a change real soon, I will be asking to put more cabs in there and then they’ll have some competition,” Curley said.
Chief Laperriere told council there are delays “more so at this time of year than at any other time of year,” but added there are not enough licenses to meet the demand at peak periods.
“That being said,” added the chief, “from what I hear on a regular basis is there are not enough calls for service for the amount of licenses we have during a regular working day. So that’s a challenge we face.”
Mayor Tom Laughren, a member of the police services board, told Curley he will have the taxi issue added to the agenda for the next board meeting.

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