Local cabbies won’t pull rank

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By HUGH COLLINS

Despite a four-week national lockdown, many drivers for Queenstown Taxis will be keeping their ranks, so to speak.

Given the bulk of the company’s drivers are operating as part-owners of the company, or shareholders, most will be taking the government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy, managing director Grant Scannell says.

“I would say probably 90 to 95 per cent of our operators are staying with the company,” Scannell says.

Only four contract drivers have been laid off, and the company’s running 15 to 20 taxis a day throughout the lockdown that’ll be assessed daily.

Scannell says his taxis will operate across the four weeks as an “essential service” for elderly and people who can’t easily get to a supermarket or pharmacy.

 

“It’s for essential travel, not just going for a tiki tour down the street, type thing.”

Scannell says last week was tough – there was a 90 per cent drop in business in less than seven days, before the lockdown came into force.

”Obviously, we expect it to go further yet, but we’ve been here 50 years and we plan on being here for another 50 years.

“We’re just like everyone else, we just don’t know what’s around the corner at the moment but we’re doing our best to look after everyone in the company.”

Corporate Cabs Queenstown master franchisee Ian Paterson says they’re operating a skeleton crew over the next month.

”We’re on the council list of operators to provide transport for essential staff,” Paterson says.

“A limited service, but we’ll be there to be called on, if and when required.”

Green Cabs wasn’t available to comment.

hugh.collins@scene.co.nz