Taxi fares av­er­age in first weeks

Alpine Observer - - News -

By JUSTIN JENVEY

THERE has been less de­mand than they ex­pected but Bright Taxis op­er­a­tor Jack Hodge said he and part­ner Vicki are com­mit­ted to keep­ing the ser­vice run­ning long term.

The cou­ple moved to Bright in July, bring­ing with them their Mel­bourne taxi fleet which saw the re­turn of a cab ser­vice to Bright af­ter more than 18 months with­out one.

Since pro­vid­ing their first fare on July 25, a taxi has been avail­able around the clock some­thing Mr Hodge said was im­por­tant with jobs dur­ing day­light hours of­ten scarce.

“On Mon­day and Tues­day you’d be lucky to do five jobs in two days but as the week pro­gresses it picks up,” he said.

“Speak­ing to peo­ple though, it’s been a lot qui­eter in town than usual even at this time of year.

“Even though it’s been a lot qui­eter then we ex­pected we’re in this for the long haul, we’re not just here for a few months.

“We ex­pect it will start pick­ing up from this week­end with the school hol­i­days and then be quite busy dur­ing Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber and over­sum­mer.”

De­spite early de­mand not be­ing what they thought, Mr Hodge said lo­cals had em­braced the re­turn of a taxi to Bright.

“They are very happy es­pe­cially the younger ones be­cause they know they can go out and then ring us at any time and we’ll an­swer, so peo­ple are very grate­ful for that,” Mr Hodge said.

“A lot of peo­ple have told us how happy they are that there’s a taxi again so that’s made us feel good about what we’re do­ing.”

Wandi Pub owner Tim Heuchan said the re­turn of a cab meant peo­ple were now able to head out of Bright more eas­ily and with­out hav­ing to worry about driv­ing af­ter a few drinks.

“It’s been re­ally good, it’s some­thing the town needs,” he said.

“As a venue owner you want to get peo­ple in and out quickly and be­ing where we are it means peo­ple don’t get stuck out here.

“We’ve even had groups come out from Har­ri­etville for a night, so it just gives peo­ple the op­tion to do that again.”

Mr Hodge said word about the ser­vice start­ing up had also quickly spread to peo­ple out­side of Bright.

“Last week we went to Mt Hotham twice for a cou­ple of ac­count jobs and also to Al­bury Air­port,” he said.

“We have re­ceived quite a lot of calls from in­ter­state from peo­ple who are com­ing here for events like the Rod Run or the Spring Fes­ti­val who want to know what is avail­able.

“I’m sure there are a lot of lo­cals who still don’t know we’re here and the only way to get to peo­ple is word of mouth so hope­fully once that hap­pens we’ll start to build some reg­u­lar clien­tal.”

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