Taxi troubles in Coffs Harbour

Peter Watters, failed by Coffs’ 131008 taxi service, receives the CEO’s apology.

WAITING for a taxi that never came, Peter Watters from Coffs Harbour arrived at the conclusion that the only way of getting home from Stadium Drive to Azalea Avenue was to get his mobility scooter in gear and go for it.

Having arrived at Hogbin Drive Crematorium and Memorial Gardens for a 2.30pm funeral by a local 131008 taxi, Peter phoned for his return ride at 5.00pm to get back home.

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“The operator said it had been sent and would be there in a couple of minutes, so I went down and waited for it outside the front gates,” Peter told News Of The Area.

“They must lock the gates at the crematorium because a worker came down and asked what I was waiting for.

“I told him ‘a taxi’, so he rang them on his phone, spoke to an operator and she said the taxi would only be a couple of minutes.

“He said to me, ‘do you want me to wait with you for a while’, and I said if it would only be a couple of minutes, I will be alright to wait on my own.”

At 5.50pm there was no sign of the taxi and Peter rang again and was told by the operator it should have arrived.

“So at 6.10pm I decided that I was not going to be picked up, so I had to ride my scooter home in the dark all the way back.”

On his way home he saw a cab driver who he knew and told him his troubles.

“He said the system is not working.

“I was very lucky that I had enough charge in my vehicle battery to get home,” Peter told NOTA.

Peter wrote a letter to the 131008 company and didn’t hear back.

NOTA called 131008 and a few days later received a call from Gulshan Bed, CEO, 13Cabs Coffs Harbour.

Mr Bedi has sent a personal email of apology to Mr Watters and spoken with News Of The Area.

“The main problem is that we cannot get drivers for the pm (evening) shift,” Mr Bedi told NOTA.

“Many of our day drivers are older-aged and they do not want to work after 5pm.

“Maybe Covid put them off, but we cannot get them on the night roster.

“I have raised the issue of lack of pm-shift drivers with Anthony Wing, the Point to Point Transport Commissioner, the regulator for taxis and hire vehicles in NSW.

“I have raised it with Transport for NSW, and the NSW Taxi Council is aware,” said Mr Bedi.

“Despite advertising across social media and in NOTA, driver applications have not been forthcoming.”

Mr Bedi has given Mr Watter his personal phone number to call him whenever he is unable to get a taxi quickly.

“We are also working to upskill current drivers of our fleet to assist them in obtaining their wheelchair taxi accreditation,” Mr Bedi added.


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