Fed up with seeing his clients wait a long time for a taxi at the end of the evening, Boulevard Bar & Grill co-owner Michael Ghorayeb in Chateauguay has launched a petition asking that Uber services the sector. From their standpoint, the two taxi enterprises that already cover the territory are trying to find solutions to better respond to the needs of their clientele.
Ghorayeb started this initiative because during the weekend of January 17, some of his clients waited over two hours at the end of the evening in the hope of getting a taxi. In three days, more than 1,000 people had signed the petition.
According to the Chateauguay restaurateur, for the last two years it has been more and more difficult to get a taxi in Chateauguay on Friday and Saturday nights.
He emphasises that this transportation problem has an impact on his business. ‘’From an economic point of view, it hurts me. The people are starting to prepare in advance for their departure,’’ he explains. From a security point of view, he does not want his customers to take the wheel or walk long distances after having consumed alcohol.
Peak nocturnal periods
Oxford Taxi and Prestige Taxi have explained that the situation on the weekend of January 17 was an exception and that the service had been slower because of the severe snowstorm that was taking place.
The two taxi companies are of the opinion that the exit from bars is always a time where it is difficult to fill the demand. ‘’Even if you put 100 taxis on duty on weekend nights, we cannot meet the demand when we approach 3 a.m. because everyone leaves at the same time,’’ explains Driss Elabdouni, a supervisor at Oxford Taxi. Prestige Taxi owner Georges El-Assad also evokes the fact that some clients call the two companies at the same time for rides home and that creates confusion and a service slowdown.
El-Assad notices that the clientele has increased in recent months. ‘’For eight or nine months, the amount of customers has been unbelievable. I don’t know what is happening,’’ he mentions. At Oxford Taxi, Elabdouni speaks instead of peak periods where the rush is more important.
The popularity of the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake also has an impact on the demand for taxis, especially during tournaments, but the two companies affirm they give priority to clients from Chateauguay, Lery and Mercier.
In search of solutions
Both Prestige and Oxford Taxi are aware that some customers are dissatisfied with the waiting time. The two enterprises say they are in solution mode. Among other things, they are adapting the schedule of drivers and are even discussing ways of improving the service.
From its standpoint, Uber shares that it did not envisage servicing Chateauguay for the moment.
(Translation Dan Rosenburg)