New taxi number in the Comox Valley

There’s a new phone number for taxi services in the Comox Valley with the start of competition for customers.

Kevin East (right) and driver Tony Ackland with two new super-cabs that have hit the road

There’s a new phone number for taxi services in the Comox Valley with the start of competition for customers.

For many years, there has been only one taxi operator in the Valley, but recently that changed following an earlier BC Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) ruling that “healthy competition” would benefit customers.

The PTB has granted a licence to local private-hire shuttle operator Ambassador Transportation Corporation to expand beyond its existing pre-booked services.

Ambassador is now able to pick up people who hail or flag from the street, respond to immediate calls for service, and charge metered rates for journeys, while still offering pre-arranged journeys, tours and limo services at posted rates.

Business owner Kevin East has put extra vehicles on the road that are freshly painted in his new black-and-yellow taxi livery and which promote the new phone number: 250-941-TAXI (8294).

“Our two licensed taxis are actually seven-seat vans, one of them fully accessible for wheelchair users and scooters thanks to flip seats and a tail lift,” says East. “Whether it’s a taxi for one person or seven, we’re ready to respond — and with 14 licensed drivers we can offer round-the-clock service seven days a week.”

The two super-cabs are both metered using rates fixed by the PTB.

“Obviously traffic conditions impact the time taken for any journey, which is recorded by the meter,” says East. “But typically a Courtenay-Comox Valley Airport run is costing about $25.”

With Ambassadors unique ‘hybrid’ licence they are able to utilize shuttle vehicles and offer cheaper flat rates than a typical taxi rate for further points such as Port Alberni, Campbell River or Parksville. This, ultimately, provides guests with the best possible price option for wherever their journey takes them.

When the PCB granted the licence, it noted strong support from the Valley to open taxi services to competition, with 58 submissions from businesses and individuals backing Ambassador’s bid. There was especially strong support from airlines and airport-related businesses, as well as local care homes.

Part of the PCB’s ruling stated that: “Many felt that another taxi provider would have a positive impact, with improved customer service, vehicle conditions and reduced wait times.”

Ambassador has been approved for two taxi licences, but East suggests that if the public supports his business he’ll be eager to return to the board to seek permission for more.

“We certainly aren’t the biggest operator, but we aim to be the best. Our drivers are professional, reliable, well dressed in Ambassador uniforms with name tags, and our vehicles provide comfort and style.”

In addition to the two taxi vans, Ambassador continues to run seven other vehicles — from cars to stretch limousines and even buses — for the private-hire side of the business. The 11 passenger Sprinter and 24 passenger bus have been especially useful for group outings. The enquiry number for the private hire side of business remains 250-339-5252.

“It’s great that people can now hail our taxi cabs, but we also remain committed to offering pre-booked airport drop-offs and pickups, safe rides home, tours of local wineries and attractions, and journeys needed for medical appointments by advance reservation for those who can plan ahead,” says East. “But we now have way more flexibility, and through co-operation with services such as BC Transit’s HandyDart services, we can also accept Taxi Saver vouchers towards the fare.”

Just Posted

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Former B.C. cop sentenced to jail ‘in the community’ after caught in Creep Catchers sting

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

5 races to watch in B.C.’s municipal elections this Saturday

This year’s election results across more than 160 cities in B.C. will start pouring in after polls close Saturday at 8 p.m.

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada said Friday the consumer price index in September was up 2.2 per cent from a year ago compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.8 per cent in August

Dog deaths in Lower Mainland may be tied to suspected mushroom poisoning: RCMP

Police have received reports in the last month about several dogs becoming ill after visiting a park in North Vancouver

First Nation female hockey player a force on the ice

Bree-Anna Henderson continues to lead as one of the top scorers in her last year of hockey.

Most Read