A proposal by Sudbury's airport to hire a single cab company to offer ground service is something some taxi drivers say will put them out of business.

"It would kill me because I wouldn't be able to operate anymore," said Linda Pepin, who operates L&N Taxi at the airport.

"I could work in the small communities, but there's so many other taxis already that it just wouldn't be [financially viable] for me to do that."

Licence changes needed

Cabbie Carolle Brunet said to mitigate the damage, the city should change the way it licenses taxis.

Taxi service in Sudbury is currently broken into three zones: Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 2A — the airport zone, which will no longer exist following the tender.

"What happens to all our calls, our customers, we can't go pick them up because we don't have a Zone 2a [licence] now," Brunet said. "So I'm hoping they'll offer us something in return."

Brunet said taxi drivers should be given the right to pick-up and drop-off passengers in Sudbury proper, also known as Zone 1. That area is currently restricted to 100 taxi licenses.

The manager of taxi licensing for the city's bylaw department said the department intends to make sure taxi drivers are involved in the airport's hiring process.

"We'll give them answers on the particulars of the tender," Darlene Barker said.

"After the tender is issued we'll do some more public consultation to see if there does need to be any bylaw amendments."

The airport is expected to issue a request-for-proposals within the next few weeks.