The NZ Transport Agency and the West Coast Regional Council are working closely with the new owner of Buller Taxis, the only taxi operator in Westport, to ensure the town maintains a service while legal requirements are worked through.
The company recently changed ownership but did not apply to be approved as an “Approved Taxi Organisation”, a requirement under the Land Transport Rule for Operator Licensing 2007.
Transport Agency Access and Use staff have been working closely with the new owner and the Regional Council to ensure that the service continues within the Westport area.
“A potential solution, whereby the company will operate as a “Private Hire” service in the interim until the current owner decides on her long-term options, is the best way to ensure the service will be unaffected,” said Dermot Harris, Commercial Transport Manager for the Transport Agency.
Patrons will see little difference. The same contact telephone number has been retained. The only visible differences will be the removal of the taxi signs on top of the vehicles and the unplugging of the meters. Fares will be pre-determined, prior to the commencement of the trip.
“The Transport Agency realises the social importance of maintaining a transport service in the Westport area and will assist the current owner to ensure that all the regulatory requirements are understood,” said Mr Harris.