Local taxi service is returning to Smithers.
Kaiser Taxi Service owner and operator Gunner Kaiser decided to start the company after his vehicle broke down in January.
“I had no way to get to work and was walking across town. It was a long walk and had to bundle to do it for over a week… I didn’t realize up till that point it impacted people that much until it impacted me.”
He added the process of starting a Taxi company is long because of the permits and licenses required to operate.
“The last step of the process was getting a Passenger Directed Vehicle License from the province and that was the longest step in the process,” he said.
Last November, the province issued an “urgent need” license application because no taxi service was available in the community.
In April, it was announced that Kalum Kabs from Terrace would be expanding their operations into Smithers starting the middle of May after being awarded the urgent need license.
Since then, they have not announced an operational start date.
“I originally requested the urgent public need request,” said Kaiser.
“Because [Kalum Kabs] were going to be operating and the board said they were a more experienced company, they didn’t see my application as an urgent public need.”
After his application went through the public forum, Kaiser says Kalum submitted a letter stating there wasn’t enough demand in the area for two cab companies to operate.
The transportation board took a while to provide Kaiser with a decision, which he believed was because they thought Kalum was already operating.
Last week, he reached out to the board explaining the situation, which was met with a request for evidence that Kalum Kabs was not operating in Smithers.
“That’s when I went to businesses all around town, the airport, and asked for letters to verify the public need,” said Kaiser.
Final inspections are under way, he hopes to be operating soon.