Kalum Kabs’ Bryan Halbauer and Michael Diana. (Photo Gerry Leibel) Kalum Kabs’ Bryan Halbauer and Michael Diana. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Terrace-based taxi service starts in Kitimat

Taxi availability will depend on the number of drivers

Terrace-based Kalum Kabs’ is determined not to suffer the same fate that Haisla Taxi did earlier this year – being forced to shut down due to a shortage of drivers.

On Monday, July 22, Kalum Kabs started operating three taxis in Kitimat, with more planned as driver recruitment, a training program and an attractive wage package increases the number of drivers the company employes.

Kalum Kabs director Bryan Halbauer believes it is the wage package, which includes health and pension benefits, which will prevent the exodus of drivers to the industrial projects.

“We didn’t have plans to expand to Kitimat but we believe we have the potential to meet the demand for taxi services in Kitimat,” said Halbauer on Monday.

“We’re looking for people that want to make driving taxis a career goal. We also want to create a working environment which will work for them in the long term.”

He said competitive wages and a benefits package has swayed drivers in Terrace, who have chosen to remain with the company and not chase after the lucrative jobs associated with the industrial boom in the region.

Halbauer believes the company had identified and addressed the challenges that make Kitimat a tough market to service.

One of those is that there are people who are interested in operating a taxi but who lack training.

In addition to recruitment, Halbauer and his business partner Michael Diana also offer drivers the necessary training to drive taxis.

Another problem for people reliant on taxi services in Kitimat has been wait times – Halbauer and Diana believe their electronic booking system and mobile phone app will solve a lot of the scheduling problems.

The wait times are further exacerbated by calls to service Northwest Regional Airport, which take drivers away from Kitimat for extended periods.

“We have enough drivers in Terrace to take care of the airport run – it will be less of a burden for our Kitimat drivers. Locals won’t have a problem waiting for a taxi,” added Diana.

The partners said while Kalum Kabs will operate seven days a week, the number of available drivers will ultimately dictate availability.

“We will have moments when we don’t have drivers, especially early in the morning and late on weekends,” said Diana.

READ MORE: Why Haisla Taxi shut down in Kitimat.

Reaction to the news on social media has been mixed – while some people have expressed relief over the news of a new taxi company starting, others have said they will continue supporting the ride-sharing movement that started up in the vacuum left by Haisla Taxi’s service shutdown.

Visit our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter

Typos? Email the editor!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kitselas receive $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program, open to Tsimshian and Haisla Nations

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into Northern Sentinel office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Expect delays between Terrace and Prince Rupert on Highway 16

Avalanche control work is planned between Legaic Rd and Frank St. for 136.8 km

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Most Read