Taxi company considers night bus for busy festive season
BLUE and White Taxis is looking at bringing back a 25-seat bus on certain nights to help cope with the load coming into festive season, as chairman Allan Rowe dismissed the notion that there was an unnecessary shortage of taxis on Saturday nights.
The board is currently mulling over whether to bring in the bus, which has proved popular in past years, for particular nights.
It has to consider whether particular events over the season are on to make sure the demand is there.
"The board will be considering what's coming up and it can be hard to do that in this town, but the bus is certainly an option for us," Mr Rowe said.
He said the decision to put on the bus on any particular occasion, however, would come down to a number of factors including whether the service could secure a driver and conductor for it.
"We've tried this before, and it's worked for us," Rowe said.
"In fact, Gladstone seems to be one of the only places where it does work for some reason."
He added that the company would have to seek permission from the Department of Transport to add the bus to its fleet.
Meanwhile, he said calls to the company to put on more taxis, particularly on Saturday nights, were misplaced as it was not the company which had the power to put them on.
Rather, it was the Department of Transport which has to call for tenders before any new vehicles can hit the streets.
"We're also having trouble finding drivers. You can put on all the taxis you want, but you need someone to drive them," Mr Rowe said.
"We also have a fair few fare evasions and racial abuse directed towards our drivers, and that's definitely not helping in retaining our current drivers, let alone getting new ones."
He added he was proud of current drivers for achieving a half-hour clearance rate from popular night spots on Saturday nights.
How many taxis typically on the road:
- Weekdays - about 15.
- Friday night and Saturday night - 32 (all available), including 12 maxi-taxis.
Source: Blue and White Taxis
Do you find it difficult getting a taxi at night in Gladstone?
This poll ended on 15 November 2013.
Yes, most of the time
Only on Saturday nights
No, they're usually pretty efficient
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.