A retired taxi driver in Kimberley is looking to re-establish services in the community.
Kimberley has been left without a taxi service since L&K shut down in August 2022.
Driver Wayne Grant is hoping to open up the business by February.
He said they’re waiting for clarification on what vehicles they can use.
“If we get it running with newer vehicles where we don’t need the mechanical aspect of it at the beginning, we’ll look at running it out of our home,” said Grant. “If we do get it running and decide we’re going with the shop, the old owners offered an opportunity to rent their old shop in Kimberley.”
Grant hopes to use the former L&K vehicles, otherwise, he would need an investment of about $100,000.
Mayor Don McCormack said a newly established taxi service would be a significant benefit to Kimberley.
He added that the City is willing to help get the business off the ground.
“The licencing process the proponent is going through is fairly lengthy and detailed. The city is in a position to help out in any possible way we can with that application and that process,” said McCormick. “Right now, I think it’s just a matter of due process, so hopefully the proponent will be successful in the near future.”
Since the closure of L&K, McCormick said Kimberley has been able to handle the community’s transportation needs, but he still feels Grant’s business will help ease the pressure.
“Kimberley is very fortunate that our ski hill is inside the municipality. It’s a 15 to 20-minute walk from the base of the resort to the Platzl area,” said McCormick. “Notwithstanding the fact that it would be preferable to have a taxi service, we are a very walkable community. That walkability has helped as we navigate our way through this taxi shortage.”
The city has an agreement with BC Transit to offer free rides between the downtown core and the ski hill. Additionally, Simply Kimberley has a shuttle service to get groups of people to and from the airport and around the community.
Without a formal taxi service in Kimberley, Grant volunteered as a diver around the holidays so people could get home safely after enjoying the night out.
“It’s absolutely incredible, what he did, and as a result of both of those things [Simply Kimberley and Grant’s volunteer time], I think we buffered a very busy season quite well,” said McCormick. “It wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but it was much better than it could have been.”