"Labrador Taxi" - Cartwright... He's says he's been forced out of business
Rod Pardy says it's not because of a lack of business... but because unauthorized drivers are undercutting him and taking away most of his work.
Pardy has been operating "Labrador Taxi" for three years.He says "pirate" taxi services has been an ongoing issue for him but the town hasn't been able to do anything about it.
Reporter Tara McLean spoke to Rod Pardy when he dropped by our studio recently...
Following the interview we received this email talkback from Dwight Lethbridge in Cartwright:
In response to Rod Pardy's interview this morning about the Labrador Taxi in Cartwright. I would like to comment on my involvement in the failure of his business.
Cartwright Hotel has offered a shuttle service to provide guests transportation from their point of origin (traditionally the airport or ferry terminal) since we opened in 1988. It was simply a means of a way for our guests to get to and from the hotel. We have seen taxis come and go during the last 23 years but this was a guest service that we always offered. The town did not issue a "shuttle license" to us after Mr. Pardy was in operation, contrary to what he says.
In 2003, I started offering a shuttle sevice to patrons of our lounge when a dance or event was being held. This was strictly to help bring the business to our business, because we are on the outskirts of town, drinking and driving was an issue, there was no taxi. People used this service. In fact, it became so popular that a dance would be a complete failure without our shuttle, and the RCMP recognized us with a certificate for reducing DUI's through the program.
Mr. Pardy came to me in the spring of 2009 looking for support to start his taxi service, and asked would I stop running the shuttle if he started. At the time I supported him 100%, and told him if he was on, my shuttles would go off.
So that was a done deal. Labrador Taxi started, great news, I didn't have to wear out my vehicles anymore doing what for me was a non-profit shuttle. It lasted for 3 events at the lounge. The first event I was out of town, but when I got home the complaints rolled in. People cold not get ahold of the taxi and he was charging way too much, I believe it was a high flat rate per person. So I told people to give it a chance as it was his first night, and I really did not want to put our shuttle back on. The next event was the same thing only I was home to witness it, and see the negative impact it was having on my business. I gave it one more week. The third time I was out enjoying the night with friends and planned on using the service myself, and we cold not reach him, only to find out he was stopped for the night with his phones turned off! I asked him about it and his reply was that "I'm only one man and I can't drive 24 hrs a day". So my reply was why ask me to take off my shuttle if you are not going to replace it. Needless to say, that dance was a total failure and my patrons were upset.
So, I put back on the shuttle, this time with a more efficient , 12 seat van and resumed what I was doing before.
The problem I have found with Mr. Pardy is that he does not know how to conduct himself like a gentleman. This is reflected in his business, and the way he conducts himself leads people to not care whether he succeeds or fails.
A story to back up that theory:
When I purchased the van for Cartwright Hotel, I went to Goose Bay via the Bond to pick it up. When I was returning, I was at the GB ticket office when an old lady whom I knew came in to go on the same boat. She was around 80 years old and by herself. Hardly able to carry her bag so rather than see her walk across the dock yard in Goose Bay, I offered her to come with me and leave her bag in my van. I would bring her to the boat in Goose, and bring her home in Cartwright. She was thrilled, and I was pleased to be doing the good deed. 2 days later in Cartwright the RCMP showed up in my office acting upon the complaint that I was illegally operating a taxi! I confronted Mr. Pardy about it and yes indeed, he had complained because I stole his fare by bringing home that lady. Neither the lady in Question, nor I knew that the Labrador Taxi had been called by her family member to pick her up, and instead of asking me about it...he calls the cops.
And there are other examples of Mr. Pardy conducting himself like this with other people and organizations in town. I will leave it at that.
Long story short, I conduct my business the same way I always did. I don't offer a taxi, I do what I have to to help my business. Many other hotels do the same. A taxi service is a great asset to our town, and I would love to see one succeed. In my opinion, it won't succeed under the auspices of Rod Pardy.
All the best,