A Sidney business curbed by COVID-19 plans to hit the road again.
Malcolm Brailsford, one of the three shareholders of Sidney Taxi, said the company plans to resume service in Sidney and North Saanich on Wednesday with two to three vehicles.
Brailsford said the company will limit service to the hours between 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. for the being time unless warranted with the proviso that the company will take bookings for hours outside that window if so necessary.
Brailsford said the company is resuming service because local doctors and restaurants among other businesses have started to resume operations as the provincial government has been lifting pandemic-related restrictions. These moves promise to benefit among others a key demographic of the business — seniors, arguably the group most dependent on the kind of support services that the business offers, but also most impacted by the COVID-19 related restrictions.
Before the company shut down service in late March, Brailsford had told the Peninsula News Review that the company’s cabs make between 150 and 200 daily pick-ups, more on the weekends, with seniors accounting for about 80 per cent of business on Monday to Friday calls.
The loss of business started in early March, starting with various care homes around the area that have contracted the company to transport residents. Because of the virus, they cancelled their calls, with business completely disappearing by late March.
But the resumed service will look different beyond the limited service hours, said Brailsford. For one, cabs will not take any passengers in the passenger seat, he said. Plexiglass will also divide drivers from passengers and vehicles will be subject to a cleaning regime.
Brailsford for his part said he expects initial demand for the company’s services to be slow, but he added he is glad to be back helping people, who perhaps warrant the new freedoms the most.
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