Management at the Greater Sudbury Airport is looking to have better control of how taxi services are run from its facility.
In a few months a contract will be awarded to a single taxi company. Other taxi companies will still be able to drop-off passengers, however, they will be restricted on who they can pick up from the airport — a move that has many of the city's cabbies upset.
"After all the years of our dedication to the Sudbury Airport they go and pull this on us," said Randy Richards with R&R Taxi.
Richards said his taxi operation relies on "all the revenue" from the airport passenger fares to remain financially viable.
Airport shuttle parked
As taxi services change at Sudbury’s airport, another service customers rely on has been discontinued.
According to its website, the Airport Shuttle is no longer in operation, and stated the decision, "relates to conflicts and issues at the airport regarding other transportation services."
He noted that, when more than one flight arrives at a time, one taxi firm won't be able to provide enough service to passengers.
But under the current system, airline passengers are being left stranded at the airport because taxi service isn't available, said Bob Johnston, the CEO for the Greater Sudbury Airport.
"We've had to sometimes shuttle with our own security vehicle," he said. "Other [passengers] have to make [other] arrangements, rent cars."
Johnston said he is disappointed with "virtually every aspect of the service" provided by current taxi companies, "from vehicles to standard of service. The biggest disappointment is the fact that … at any given time there may or may not be vehicles there."
To help remedy the problem, Johnston is working with the city to draft a new bylaw that will give the airport control over its taxi services.
Sudbury's Manager of Compliance and Enforcement said once the contract is awarded, other taxi companies will still be able to drop-off passengers. However, companies will be restricted on who they can pick up from the airport.
Johnston said they will be accepting bids from companies within the next six months.