PEI

Charlottetown Airport to get more taxis, but fares will increase

Charlottetown Airport will soon be rolling out a new taxi system. Some fares will increase, but it will also mean more taxi choices for passengers.

The changes will come into effect May 1

The Charlottetown airport is rolling out a new taxi strategy that rolls out May 1. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The Charlottetown airport will soon be rolling out a new taxi system. Some fares will increase, but it will also mean more taxi choices for passengers. 

"We've heard from stakeholders and passengers over the last number of years that perhaps its time to try something different," said Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority. 

Fare increases 

Starting May 1, passengers taking a taxi into Charlottetown will pay $2 more, with the flat rate fare increasing from $14 to $16. 

"It does seem a little bit expensive, but I can tell you that the bigger challenge we have is getting the drivers that want to work at the airport. And sometimes they have to wait here, and sometimes there's flight delays and they're tied up for longer periods," Newson said. 

Doug Newson, CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority, says it has been a challenge to get drivers who want to work at the airport. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

"We honestly believe — especially if you compare us to other airports — that the fares are a balance between trying to get drivers here, to have enough cars, but also something that's reasonable for customers." 

The will also be a new flat rate of $26 for rides to Stratford or Cornwall. Currently, fees range from $22 to $30. 

Shared taxi contract

The other big change will be with the taxi contract. Until now, passengers catching a taxi home from the airport would only see one company's cabs lined up at the arrivals gate. But starting May 1, the taxi contract will be shared among four Charlottetown cab companies, in an effort keep people from having to wait for a ride during busy periods at the airport. 

Currently just one taxi company has a contract to give rides from the Charlottetown airport. But soon there will be four. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

"We've been handling the taxi contract here the same way for a number of years and the reality is with the growth of the airport and the demand we have at certain times of day, it's quite challenging for one taxi company to meet the requirements we expect from a passenger experience perspective," Newson said. 

Newson there will also be a staffed kiosk at the airport to help  passengers get a taxi promptly. 

With files from Brittany Spencer

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