Ingonish pilots taxi service
Ingonish Ingo Cab owner/ driver Frank Whitty has room for seven in is Dodge Caravan taxi and is ready to drive area residents where they need to go.
Whitty drove for Ingo Cab for two years before taking over the business in Spring 2017. He is now part of a pilot project initiated by District #6 Councillor Larry Dauphinee that will gather data on transportation needs of area residents. Dauphinee has been gathering anecdotal data for some time now during consultation with seniors.
“I want numbers. A lot of people say they need it, but will people use it? So, I said let’s do a test pilot and see how many people use it, the reason they use it, and that will give us more data moving forward to approach the province or the federal government to find more money on a longer-term basis.”
Dauphinee has put aside a $1000 from his district budget to fund the pilot which launched Oct 30.
“That isn’t going to take us long to go through. Our budgets aren’t very extensive. If I can scrounge more out of the budget, I will. I’m hoping it lasts for a little while, but the main thing is to get some stats to know how to move forward.”
The primary intention of the pilot is to provide patrons with rides to medical appointments.
“Right now, what I’m saying is if you have a doctor’s appointment in Sydney or Inverness, we’ll allow that. But that will really kill our budget quickly if we have people going to Sydney. But again, if it’s to Neil’s Harbour for medical appointments, we’ll go to where we have to be. I don’t think we can afford going to Halifax right now, but maybe down the road.”
Whitty says a round trip to Sydney runs $180.
The pilot project also welcomes calls from people looking for a lift to social events in the Ingonish area.
“We’re not going to turn anybody away. If there’s someone out there that’s in need, we’re going to be flexible,” said Dauphinee.