Sun Peaks Taxi will return for their second season this winter with a year of experience under their belt, a contract for the in-resort shuttle and optimism for the year ahead.
The business faced challenges in its infancy as owner Kurtis Wyllie struggled with staffing, inconsistent call volumes within the resort, balancing larger trips with local service and competing against a free night time shuttle.
While taking longer trips covered costs for insurance, licensing and staff, some residents expressed frustration when rides weren’t immediately available within the resort.
Wyllie said he hopes to smooth over previous issues with updated vehicles, the new contract and more staff.
Last winter he operated two taxis. At the end of the season the minivan was swapped for a 14 passenger shuttle van. Wyllie said the larger vehicle will give them flexibility as it can be used for tours, day trips, airport shuttles or called as a taxi when available.
The SUV taxi will continue to operate within the resort and for trips to Kamloops or elsewhere in B.C. depending on bookings.
The company has also taken over the free in-resort shuttle which will operate during the day with a 24 passenger bus. There will be a fare charged for evening taxi service after shuttle hours.
“There are ski racks on the outside or you can bring your gear on the bus,” he said. “There are only two steps to get on so it will be more accessible and easier with gear on.”
After hours, the taxi or van will be available for paid rides.
To improve service Wyllie is working to update the shuttle’s webpage to provide live tracking and a clear schedule.
He has also opened applications for drivers and plans to hire five in addition to himself.
“We want to communicate better when drivers are available. If we say we’re not available it’s not because we’re not working, it’s because we’re busy. We rely on pre-bookings for longer trips to continue running…If we didn’t get all the trips to and from Kamloops last year we wouldn’t be running.”
Wyllie said they’re looking forward to their second season in operation.
“I’m raising a family here and want to be here a long time and to do that we need to balance. We’ve downsized our taxi fleet, it was not busy enough to have two taxis…we’re growing.
“My main priority is trying to make the mountain safer and to get people around for the best value possible.”