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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A cab company in Fort St. John recently applied to the Passenger Transportation Board to expand its company and is seeking support from residents.
Mebin Thomas took to Facebook seeking support to expand his one-person, one-taxi business, Super Cabs, but another taxi company in the city objected to his application.
The unnamed third party’s reasons were that Thomas was not fit to provide the service, the existing cab companies provide prompt service already, and there are more taxis than there is demand in Fort St. John.
According to the City of Fort St. John, the topic of taxis has been discussed several times at council meetings in the last decade, including multiple letters of support from council for new taxi licenses to address capacity issues.
The third party does not believe Thomas can provide the service because he does not run the car 24 hours a day.
“If I run that same car 24 hours, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down,” Thomas said.
In his Facebook post in a Fort St. John group, he asked the community if there is a need for more taxis in the city, for the average wait time and how satisfied residents are with the existing taxi structure in Fort St. John.
“I avoid cabs in FSJ. I tried to book a cab at the airport. It never showed up. A wonderful time to hang around in the middle of a December night. It seems like there needs to be some more actual competition, with reliable service,” said one commenter.
“[Super Cabs] were the only one we could rely on when we lived there. We lived next to the airport and always had an issue getting a taxi in time to take us to the airport until you started running your service. We always coordinated with you upon our return and never had an issue. The other taxi service was horrible, horrible drivers, and dirty, dirty taxis,” another commenter added.
Thomas says he applied about a month ago, but once the objection arose, he turned to the public for support.
Thomas has until Tuesday to gather responses and submit them to the Passenger Transportation Board, which will then make a decision.
“The Passenger Transportation Board has been neutral in this case; they’re not favouring them, they’re not favouring anybody. I feel like they’re doing their job properly,” Thomas added.
Thomas has been working for Super Cabs since 2020 and took over the license from the previous owner in 2022.
“Ever since I took it over, I’m getting way more calls than I can accommodate,” Thomas said.
On busy days, he can get as many as 130 calls, and on a typical day, it can be up to 95 calls.
“I can do 30, 35 at the most on a 12-hour shift. I’m only allowed to drive 12 hours,” Thomas said.
In addition to Thomas’ license, there are 21 licensees in Fort St. John, including Energetic Taxi Cab, Fort Cabs and Teco Taxi.
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