Holiday it may be, but taxi drivers busy

City United Taxis drivers Kay Baldock (in the driver's seat) and (clockwise from bottom left) Fabian Rooney, Peter 
McFelin, Simon Swift and Bill Overton take a quick break in between their 70 or so jobs in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien
City United Taxis drivers Kay Baldock (in the driver's seat) and (clockwise from bottom left) Fabian Rooney, Peter McFelin, Simon Swift and Bill Overton take a quick break in between their 70 or so jobs in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien

Christmas Day is like any other at work, only busier, for many taxi drivers.

Bill Overton, of Dunedin, has worked each of the past 30 Christmases and was yesterday undecided if he would spend the next one at home or behind the wheel.

The director of City United Taxis, Mr Overton (71) said he had enjoyed every minute of his work during the holiday.

''It's just another day at the office. My kids have all grown up now. They've never seen me at home for Christmas,'' he said.

Work was his seasonal tradition, and one he was grateful to share with others.

''I'm just so lucky over the 30 years I've had good staff, a good bunch of people, without whom I couldn't have done it,'' he said.

Among the company's drivers working yesterday were Kay Baldock, Fabian Rooney, Peter McFelin and Simon Swift.

They had not been taxi drivers for as long as Mr Overton, but had all enjoyed their past few Christmas Days on the job.

Most clients lived at rest homes and needed transport to and from family functions.

Many were ''regulars'', but for others, Christmas was the only time they ventured out, Mr Overton said.

''A lot of the people we are taking out on Christmas, you don't see them during the year. It's a special occasion for them and their families.''

The company had about 70 jobs booked for the day, divided among fewer than 10 drivers.

Many involved travel between Dunedin and Mosgiel.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Central Motorways BusesQueenstownTransport
Leadlights and Lamps LtdDunedinDecorating Specialists
X Factor Kerbing & AsphaltDunedinSpecialist Trades
Designbase LtdAlexandraArchitects & Architectural Designers