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New cabs may be available in Dunedin soon, as a fledgling venture steps in to replace Otago Taxis that ceased business last week owing thousands of dollars.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has received an application from Taieri man John Forde, who is seeking approval to be able to trade as an authorised taxi organisation. Mr Forde, trading under the business name of "Grab A Cab" has applied for a licence to operate a proposed service within the boundaries of the city of Dunedin.
Grab A Cab has placed public notice advertisements in newspapers recently as part of its application process to the NZTA's principal transport officer for Otago-Southland, Dermot Harris.
Mr Forde said he and three other business partners, who have more than 70 years experience in the taxi industry, wanted to start their own firm, after working as drivers with the privately-owned Otago Taxis.
Grab A Cab was awaiting confirmation, but expected to be able to begin operating with 10 vehicles from this Saturday, Mr Forde said.
"We are interested in getting up and running as our own company compliant [venture]," he said.
Mr Harris confirmed last week Otago Taxis had given notification it was ceasing operations and the firm took its vehicles off the streets last Wednesday.
Lintek Tracking Solutions Ltd company director Eric Lin, of Albany, North Shore City, said he has contracted a debt recovery firm to recover about $15,000 from Otago Taxis.
Lintek installed 18 security cameras security monitoring systems in Otago Taxis vehicles in August, he said.
A legislation change made the equipment compulsory in taxis operating in 15 centres around New Zealand, from August 1.
Mr Lin said another Otago taxi firm also owed Lintek about $20,000, but the managing directors of that firm could not be contacted by the Otago Daily Times to verify the claim.