Airport taxi drivers say no fare

James
James McLeod
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The five orange City Wide cabs lined up in front of the airport terminal Saturday afternoon belie the true confusion for taxi service at the airport.

The end of an exclusive contract for City Wide cars at the airport actually might mean cheaper prices for travellers, but among drivers in front of the terminal, there are rumblings that during peak times it will be difficult to get a ride from the airport to a hotel.

Passengers place their luggage aboard a City Wide cab Sunday night at the St. Johns International Airport. City Wide Taxi didnt renew an exclusive contract for cars at the airport. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The five orange City Wide cabs lined up in front of the airport terminal Saturday afternoon belie the true confusion for taxi service at the airport.

The end of an exclusive contract for City Wide cars at the airport actually might mean cheaper prices for travellers, but among drivers in front of the terminal, there are rumblings that during peak times it will be difficult to get a ride from the airport to a hotel.

Airport spokeswoman Marie Manning said the St. John's Airport Authority put out a call for tenders for the contract, which expired Sept. 30.

"We didn't receive any tenders," she said.

"(City Wide) were not interested in renewing, and so we are now operating on an open system."

What that means is now any cab company can get in line at the airport, and when they take passengers into the city, they have to charge whatever is on the meter.

Manning said it was "exactly" the same contract as before, and City Wide simply wasn't interested in renewing.

City Wide owner Peter Gulliver was out of town and unavailable to comment, but cab drivers at the airport told a very different story.

"The airport authority wanted more money, they wanted a dispatcher out here 24 hours a day," said driver Pearce Gulliver, adding he'd also heard the airport wanted to stipulate all vehicles had to be 2004 models or newer and other requirements.

In the meantime, while the system is open to any taxi company, there don't seem to be many takers.

On Saturday, out of a line of eight cars, seven were City Wide, and one was from Bugden's.

Gulliver said given the meter rate, it's not worth hanging around at the airport for a fare, because the flat rates charged under the exclusive contract were much higher.

In some cases, they were double what a meter rate might have been, to justify a cab driver waiting around for a long time.

A run from the airport to the nearby Comfort Inn would be a flat rate of $10, when the meter rate on that run would only be around $4.

Gulliver said a run to the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland would be a flat rate of $22.50, plus $2.50 for each additional passenger, whereas it would only cost $16-$17 by the meter no matter how many people were in the car.

Manning said the open system would happen "in the short term until we have a long-term strategy in place" and the airport is monitoring the situation to make sure passengers have easy access to taxis.

Under the old contract, City Wide committed to having cars at the terminal, and there was a dispatcher who was typically working from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., and could call more cars in as needed.

Now, Gulliver said he'd likely make more money working in town, where he won't have to wait as long for a fare.

"I just won't come in here and wait," he said.

"I'm not coming in and waiting for an hour and getting someone coming in and going to the Airport Inn for four dollars when you can go out in town and make the same," Gulliver said.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: St. John's Airport, Comfort Inn, Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Rob Hurd from Toronto, ON writes: It won't be long before they are back to one company under contract. The passengers and tourists will suffer if there are no companies there standing by, and they have to phone for a cab

    Do not be so foolish. You know as well as everyone that cab's will be at the door when the flights land. Nature of the business. Either they want to earn a living, or they do not. From the amount they spend each day on lottery tickets at the airport you would think that they could afford to sit and wait a little. Maybe now they will be in the cars providing quality service rather than servicing themselves.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Time we had free enterprise and get rid of the cabs that rip the people off. I had a friend the weekend who was told fare from battery Hotel to Elizabeth Park , Paradise would be seventy dollars. He called me.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Let the market and people who travel to and from this province decide who they wish to use to get to the International airport.

  • Dhu!
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Why doesn't the METROBUS go to the terminal as public transit does in the civilised world??? This is insane!

  • fintip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    What we had was a cozy arrangement that put extra cash in the pocket of one cab company and the airport authority without creating any additional value for the user. That system is accidentally and temporarily out of order because the airport authority and killer kabs couldn't agree on how to split the windfall. In the meantime, we have something close to free enterprise. How novel!

    One of the Gulliver guys warns that the whole thing may fall apart. He says he won't be lining up at the airport because he can make more money elsewhere. Any where was he when he made these comments? Lined up in front of the airport with seven or eight other cabs.

    The airport authority spokesperson notes that the present (free enterprise) system is a short term strategy until they can get a long-term strategy. Translated, that means we're working feverishly on another arrangement that will again put more of our money in their pockets. And I'm sure we won't have to wait long - someone will be along shortly to take us for a ride.

  • Tango
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I don't mind calling a cab and waiting for it if the cab will cost about half the price. To get to the airport from our house in Airport Heights it costs $7, but to get home on the flat rate from the airport we pay $12.50. It's too bad that the customers are expected to pay extra because of the cab's wait times. Ends up hurting the drivers in the end.

  • sick of being ripped off
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    St John's had the highest flat rate airport cabs per distance in the country. A $10 to $12 metered fare from my house to airport would cost $25 upon return. I recall one night be asked to share a cab to Logy Bay road with strangers. The driver had 2 stops on Paddy Dobbin drive and one on Logy Bay road. He charged each passenger $20 bucks, total $60. This fare on a meter would be $25-30 tops, including tip.

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To Blows me mind I agree with what you said about Gulliver but the rest of what you said is just as bad or worse than the comments that you are condemning you seem to have some insight that you do not wish to share you profess knowledge of the employment status of the users of this form who are mostly anonymous as you have chosen to remain and you are yelling at everybody by using caps so basically you are just a blowhard that wrote a few thoughtless lines.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Taxpayer Joe is right. While some cab drivers in St. John's may not dress appropiately to go to work, and one or two may need a wash, for the most part they are presentable. And the most important thing is they speak English fairly well. Most of them don't have to consult a map, and you aren't worried that it's going to cost way too much because the driver has no clue as to the proper route. Try getting a cab here in Toronto where you don't need a United Nations translater team to expalin where you want to go. Believe it or not I am not a racist. I just want to be able to converse with those I am giving my business to in the pre dominant language of the country I live in. It's not too much to ask. You don't have that problem in St. John's.

  • bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    about time. All gullivers did was rip you off. They also did not provide friendly drivers. I will never use them again

  • BLOWS ME
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    THIS SECTION OF THE ONLINE TELEGRAM IS WORST THAN THE OPENLINE SHOWS......fULL OF A PILE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS...THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THEY NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT BETTER OFF IF THEY WENT TO WORK INSTEAD OF BEING A BURDEN TO TAXPAYERS...............MY HAT GOES OFF TO MR.GULLIVER FOR STANDING UP TO THE BIG GUYS...............

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I'm with Donny Dooley on this one. Well said!!

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    A run from the airport to the nearby Comfort Inn would be a flat rate of $10, when the meter rate on that run would only be around $4.

    =====

    This is simply untrue. Any cab driver reading this knows that for a fact. It's rough $4 to get from the terminal to the end of the airport road/Portugal Cove road extension, near the rental car spot. Fares are way more than this article lets on. It's more like $7 to the Comfort Inn.

    I'm delighted in this change of operations at the airport. Metrobus would be wise to add an airport run to their archaic schedule.

  • Telling it Like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I have to agree with Duh!

    The majority of civilized cities offer some form of public transportation to their major airports.

    I don't see why Metrobus could not offer a cheap convenient, hourly service to the airprot. Oh wait, now I know the cab companies have been enjoying a monolpy for the past few years.

    I would suggest the people of St. John's write St. John's city council but since Shannie Duff believes in zero growth and never developing anything, I doubt anything will happen.

  • Cab
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Obviously, most people are not aware that it's the airport authority who sets the flat rates for the cabs...NOT the cab company. Before you express an opinion, consider this...the airport put out a call for tenders on the contract...with an opening bid of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. That's what the cab company would have to pay to the airport for the right to park there...or form a monopoly or gang as some people here have said. Not one cab company submitted a tender...what does that tell you? Open access to the airport for all cab companies may very well sound like a fair way to do things...I hope everyone is as understanding when they come off a plane, and there are no cabs waiting...because drivers don't want to wait in line forever for a possible $4 taxi fare to the Comfort Inn. There are two sides to every story...consider both sides before you use words like ripoff.

  • TAXI DRIVER
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    As taxi driver the comments out of the previous ones is the one made by G ....
    Its like every story there are two sides...The airport expects a cab company to pay them to park outside there door...In return the prefered company is suppose to get the fairs from the airport to their destinations but between the greeters and other companies they dont always....So the airport wants some company to pay them an extreme amount of money for false hopes and promises....Now with the open system it will be intersting to see how many people will be on the curb waiting especially if its stormy.....So now whos the crooks .......all the people see is $10.00 to the comfort inn instead of the metered rate of $4.00.....They dont see the extra expenses to be the exclusive company....IM guessing alot of people feel this way seeing no one bid on the contract.........

  • Unreal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I wonder if City Wide still charging the flat rate to unknowing customers now that they no longer have the contract?

  • Nastynateisafool
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Nasty Nate from St Johns, NL writes: From the amount they spend each day on lottery tickets at the airport you would think that they could afford to sit and wait a little. Maybe now they will be in the cars providing quality service rather than servicing themselves.:
    Your a fool. Grow up and stop being so judgemental.
    Do you sit and watch every taxi driver in the city buy lottery tickets at the airport.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    John from Nl. writes: Time we had free enterprise and get rid of the cabs that rip the people off. I had a friend the weekend who was told fare from battery Hotel to Elizabeth Park , Paradise would be seventy dollars. He called me. you definately should have charged him 35 bucks or 20 bucks and a bucket of chicken!

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Stan arseh you are full of it!! Don Dooley and company I think those gruffs you were talking about are people from your area coming home from Alberta with a pocket full of money and to cheap to spend it, Bill the only monopoly at the airport is the airport authority, they want you to ride with the designated cab company so they can charge them $300,000 for a contract, every driver at that company has to pay to cover that contract.(Cheers to Peter Gulliver for telling them to stick it because it is the airport that is causing the problems not the Cab owners or drivers).

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I know that when I get off the plane, the last thing I want to do is wait for a cab. I always liked the idea of the guy outside who was there to make sure things were kept in order. Give me a break people, the cab drivers have families they have to take care of too. Whats a couple extra dollars to make sure we have a taxi ready for us when we get off the plane.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    YaY, Free Market Rules... Best Cab's and professional drivers get the money, not the gangs.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I've often wondered why there isn't a small shuttle bus to take people to the downtown. I know most major airports in N.A. have them.

  • Hank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    The cabs WILL be at the door when the flights land just like a flock of seagulls know it's garbage day.

    Peter Gulliver isn't worried about $200,000, the man is one of St. John's most filthy rich. He's just squeezing the Airport non-Authority.

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I am with the cabbies on this one. They are hit with increasing fuel and insurance costs yet, they are expected to wait out at the airport for a possible fare. Remember, if the wheels are not spinning they are not earning any money. By reading the comments here some would lead you to believe that the cabbies are all making buckets of cash. Well, this is not the case, I am guessing that on many occasions, there are drivers there who actually loose money by waiting, all in the name of providing customer service.
    A little while back, the Airport Authority issued a call for Sedan service, what became of this? I am guessing that the authority expected too much money and other conditions from a potentialoperator. It cots a lot of money to provide upkeep of high end vehicles.
    And to those who want to crap over the condition of the taxi's; there are far worse and less safer cars operating at major airports like Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary etc. And at least when you get into a taxi in St. John's the driver doesn't turn around and ask you where it is.
    I am not a taxi owner or operator and I have no family involved in this industry but I do use them a fair bit both to and from the airport and around town and can say that on 99.9% of the time they are friendly, courteous and helpful and I for one have no problems paying them their fare.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I'm glad to see that different cabs can come to the airport. It was a ripoff having one company having a monopoly.

  • get real people
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    you people who you the airport a lot should complane about the rest of the airport i bought a bottle of coke at the counter and the lady said that would be 3$3.00 dollars a bag of $1.29 chips cost me $2.00 you tell me who is ripping who off you tell me ? let me think .......... must be the airport authury and i do not hear you people complane about them

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    To JP and G...I think a shuttle bus would work, especially during peak times. You can drive anywhere in this little town in ten minutes. I, again, have to agree with dildodonny, I've always thought it embarrasing that the first thing come from aways see upon arrival is a bunch of slovenly dressed miscreants making it difficult to even get in the door!

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    At least now the scariest cab rides in the country will be cheaper!

  • fintip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Cab companies and others warn that in the absence of a higher flat rate scheme at the airport, disembarking passengers may have a long wait for cabs. Fair enough - that could be one result of the free enterprise approach. But Torbay airport is unique in that it is only a few miles from the city centre - a fraction of what it is in other parts of North America. Even if they call upon landing, the wait shouldn't be any longer than it takes to get your luggage (probably less). Frequent flyer execs (with carry-ons) will call ahead or make arrangements in advance. The bottom line is that there is no good reason for passengers to pay a premium - other than as a subsidy to the airport authority. And whatever about the airport authority and the cab companies, no one will disagree that the drivers themselves earn their fares.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Does this mean we won't have the 10 or 20 gruff & unkempt taxi drivers loitering around the 'arrivals' door smoking and swearing? Excellent!

  • Ian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    As if cabs don't drive fast enough already now they may break the sound barrier trying to get there because there won't be any hanging around

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I've never been one to defend Cab Companies or their mostly unkempt drivers BUT the same people supporting the open system will be the first ones complaining when they arrive in St. John's on a flight on can't get a cab quickly.

  • JP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Another reason why shuttle busses don't work in St. John's is that the hotels are scattered all over the place, making it very costly to run around dropping people off. Just think about a route that had to include The Battery, Hotel Newfoundland, the Delta, AND Holiday Inn, for example. Apart from everything else, the passengers would need to pack a lunch, the ride would take so long.

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I agree with Tnago - the flats rates were not fair.

    I used to arrive at the airport and call my own taxi and be picked up at the departures entrance.

    It would save me $9 for a ride home to Downtown compared to the flat rate.

    Canada's youngest, coolest province has not got airport service figured out yet.

    Some entrepreneur should set up a bus shuttle service from the major hotels and city destinations to the airport.

  • G
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Bill - Other companies could always pick up at the airport and would charge the meter rate not the overpriced flat rates. The companies just had to be called or booked they were not allowed to stand by and wait.

    I think that what is happening now is a much fairer system. All companies have an opportunity to be there and customers do not have to pay a huge cost to the taxi driver. The customer was covering the huge cost of exclusivity for the cab company, not the cab company or drivers!

    Taxpayer - there is not enough business at our airport and it is not as far from downtown as most airports, that is why a shuttle service is not justified. Many people will come pick up their loved ones and most business people will take a taxi over a shuttle because they are faster.

  • Isdaby
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Because the airport is so close to such a small city, as compared to most other airports in N.A., it really wouldn't take very long for a person stepping off a plane to call a cab to come pick them up as if it were at your own house.

    I think, for the St. John's airport, this open system is just fine.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    It won't be long before they are back to one company under contract. The passengers and tourists will suffer if there are no companies there standing by, and they have to phone for a cab. I didn't like the fact that there was an exclusive contract when I was a cab driver in St. John's, but I can see why it was needed. The problem was the airport would play the cab companies off one another to get more money for the contract. It's about time the cab companies said enougfh is enough. I am surprised it took this long. You may see a shortage of cab drivers at the airport if they have to wait between flights for a fare. And don't think that those drivers that are used to getting $22.50 a trip to the hotels are going to start using the meter now. If you look like your a CFA then prepare to pay more!

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Most of the comments above have been made by people who no idea what they are talking about.First off City Wide had a dress code unlike most of the other companies, The fares charged are set by the AIRPORT not the drivers or the cab company and its for the service of having a cab waiting ready to go as soon as you get off your flight (you can call a cab and wait) or the dispatcher will call a meter taxi for you from the last car in the line not the first car who has been waiting for 2 hours. The people smoking around the door are mostly the passengers that just come off the flight (i.e. workers from AB).

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Great to see the end of this debacle. Cabbies muttering uhhh let's wait for 5 more .... if you were the only one at the exit looking to see if they can operate a milk run out of it and take you all over town with 5 strangers! Get professional Airport Authority and get on with at least 2 shuttle buses... and errr no I don't mean those farcical yellow school buses you used one time when a plane was diverted here one Christmas Eve!

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Rob Hurd from Toronto, ON writes: It won't be long before they are back to one company under contract. The passengers and tourists will suffer if there are no companies there standing by, and they have to phone for a cab

    Do not be so foolish. You know as well as everyone that cab's will be at the door when the flights land. Nature of the business. Either they want to earn a living, or they do not. From the amount they spend each day on lottery tickets at the airport you would think that they could afford to sit and wait a little. Maybe now they will be in the cars providing quality service rather than servicing themselves.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Time we had free enterprise and get rid of the cabs that rip the people off. I had a friend the weekend who was told fare from battery Hotel to Elizabeth Park , Paradise would be seventy dollars. He called me.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Let the market and people who travel to and from this province decide who they wish to use to get to the International airport.

  • Dhu!
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Why doesn't the METROBUS go to the terminal as public transit does in the civilised world??? This is insane!

  • fintip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    What we had was a cozy arrangement that put extra cash in the pocket of one cab company and the airport authority without creating any additional value for the user. That system is accidentally and temporarily out of order because the airport authority and killer kabs couldn't agree on how to split the windfall. In the meantime, we have something close to free enterprise. How novel!

    One of the Gulliver guys warns that the whole thing may fall apart. He says he won't be lining up at the airport because he can make more money elsewhere. Any where was he when he made these comments? Lined up in front of the airport with seven or eight other cabs.

    The airport authority spokesperson notes that the present (free enterprise) system is a short term strategy until they can get a long-term strategy. Translated, that means we're working feverishly on another arrangement that will again put more of our money in their pockets. And I'm sure we won't have to wait long - someone will be along shortly to take us for a ride.

  • Tango
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I don't mind calling a cab and waiting for it if the cab will cost about half the price. To get to the airport from our house in Airport Heights it costs $7, but to get home on the flat rate from the airport we pay $12.50. It's too bad that the customers are expected to pay extra because of the cab's wait times. Ends up hurting the drivers in the end.

  • sick of being ripped off
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    St John's had the highest flat rate airport cabs per distance in the country. A $10 to $12 metered fare from my house to airport would cost $25 upon return. I recall one night be asked to share a cab to Logy Bay road with strangers. The driver had 2 stops on Paddy Dobbin drive and one on Logy Bay road. He charged each passenger $20 bucks, total $60. This fare on a meter would be $25-30 tops, including tip.

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    To Blows me mind I agree with what you said about Gulliver but the rest of what you said is just as bad or worse than the comments that you are condemning you seem to have some insight that you do not wish to share you profess knowledge of the employment status of the users of this form who are mostly anonymous as you have chosen to remain and you are yelling at everybody by using caps so basically you are just a blowhard that wrote a few thoughtless lines.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Taxpayer Joe is right. While some cab drivers in St. John's may not dress appropiately to go to work, and one or two may need a wash, for the most part they are presentable. And the most important thing is they speak English fairly well. Most of them don't have to consult a map, and you aren't worried that it's going to cost way too much because the driver has no clue as to the proper route. Try getting a cab here in Toronto where you don't need a United Nations translater team to expalin where you want to go. Believe it or not I am not a racist. I just want to be able to converse with those I am giving my business to in the pre dominant language of the country I live in. It's not too much to ask. You don't have that problem in St. John's.

  • bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    about time. All gullivers did was rip you off. They also did not provide friendly drivers. I will never use them again

  • BLOWS ME
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    THIS SECTION OF THE ONLINE TELEGRAM IS WORST THAN THE OPENLINE SHOWS......fULL OF A PILE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS...THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THEY NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT BETTER OFF IF THEY WENT TO WORK INSTEAD OF BEING A BURDEN TO TAXPAYERS...............MY HAT GOES OFF TO MR.GULLIVER FOR STANDING UP TO THE BIG GUYS...............

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I'm with Donny Dooley on this one. Well said!!

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    A run from the airport to the nearby Comfort Inn would be a flat rate of $10, when the meter rate on that run would only be around $4.

    =====

    This is simply untrue. Any cab driver reading this knows that for a fact. It's rough $4 to get from the terminal to the end of the airport road/Portugal Cove road extension, near the rental car spot. Fares are way more than this article lets on. It's more like $7 to the Comfort Inn.

    I'm delighted in this change of operations at the airport. Metrobus would be wise to add an airport run to their archaic schedule.

  • Telling it Like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I have to agree with Duh!

    The majority of civilized cities offer some form of public transportation to their major airports.

    I don't see why Metrobus could not offer a cheap convenient, hourly service to the airprot. Oh wait, now I know the cab companies have been enjoying a monolpy for the past few years.

    I would suggest the people of St. John's write St. John's city council but since Shannie Duff believes in zero growth and never developing anything, I doubt anything will happen.

  • Cab
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Obviously, most people are not aware that it's the airport authority who sets the flat rates for the cabs...NOT the cab company. Before you express an opinion, consider this...the airport put out a call for tenders on the contract...with an opening bid of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. That's what the cab company would have to pay to the airport for the right to park there...or form a monopoly or gang as some people here have said. Not one cab company submitted a tender...what does that tell you? Open access to the airport for all cab companies may very well sound like a fair way to do things...I hope everyone is as understanding when they come off a plane, and there are no cabs waiting...because drivers don't want to wait in line forever for a possible $4 taxi fare to the Comfort Inn. There are two sides to every story...consider both sides before you use words like ripoff.

  • TAXI DRIVER
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    As taxi driver the comments out of the previous ones is the one made by G ....
    Its like every story there are two sides...The airport expects a cab company to pay them to park outside there door...In return the prefered company is suppose to get the fairs from the airport to their destinations but between the greeters and other companies they dont always....So the airport wants some company to pay them an extreme amount of money for false hopes and promises....Now with the open system it will be intersting to see how many people will be on the curb waiting especially if its stormy.....So now whos the crooks .......all the people see is $10.00 to the comfort inn instead of the metered rate of $4.00.....They dont see the extra expenses to be the exclusive company....IM guessing alot of people feel this way seeing no one bid on the contract.........

  • Unreal
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I wonder if City Wide still charging the flat rate to unknowing customers now that they no longer have the contract?

  • Nastynateisafool
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Nasty Nate from St Johns, NL writes: From the amount they spend each day on lottery tickets at the airport you would think that they could afford to sit and wait a little. Maybe now they will be in the cars providing quality service rather than servicing themselves.:
    Your a fool. Grow up and stop being so judgemental.
    Do you sit and watch every taxi driver in the city buy lottery tickets at the airport.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    John from Nl. writes: Time we had free enterprise and get rid of the cabs that rip the people off. I had a friend the weekend who was told fare from battery Hotel to Elizabeth Park , Paradise would be seventy dollars. He called me. you definately should have charged him 35 bucks or 20 bucks and a bucket of chicken!

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Stan arseh you are full of it!! Don Dooley and company I think those gruffs you were talking about are people from your area coming home from Alberta with a pocket full of money and to cheap to spend it, Bill the only monopoly at the airport is the airport authority, they want you to ride with the designated cab company so they can charge them $300,000 for a contract, every driver at that company has to pay to cover that contract.(Cheers to Peter Gulliver for telling them to stick it because it is the airport that is causing the problems not the Cab owners or drivers).

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I know that when I get off the plane, the last thing I want to do is wait for a cab. I always liked the idea of the guy outside who was there to make sure things were kept in order. Give me a break people, the cab drivers have families they have to take care of too. Whats a couple extra dollars to make sure we have a taxi ready for us when we get off the plane.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    YaY, Free Market Rules... Best Cab's and professional drivers get the money, not the gangs.

  • Hank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    The cabs WILL be at the door when the flights land just like a flock of seagulls know it's garbage day.

    Peter Gulliver isn't worried about $200,000, the man is one of St. John's most filthy rich. He's just squeezing the Airport non-Authority.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I've often wondered why there isn't a small shuttle bus to take people to the downtown. I know most major airports in N.A. have them.

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    I am with the cabbies on this one. They are hit with increasing fuel and insurance costs yet, they are expected to wait out at the airport for a possible fare. Remember, if the wheels are not spinning they are not earning any money. By reading the comments here some would lead you to believe that the cabbies are all making buckets of cash. Well, this is not the case, I am guessing that on many occasions, there are drivers there who actually loose money by waiting, all in the name of providing customer service.
    A little while back, the Airport Authority issued a call for Sedan service, what became of this? I am guessing that the authority expected too much money and other conditions from a potentialoperator. It cots a lot of money to provide upkeep of high end vehicles.
    And to those who want to crap over the condition of the taxi's; there are far worse and less safer cars operating at major airports like Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary etc. And at least when you get into a taxi in St. John's the driver doesn't turn around and ask you where it is.
    I am not a taxi owner or operator and I have no family involved in this industry but I do use them a fair bit both to and from the airport and around town and can say that on 99.9% of the time they are friendly, courteous and helpful and I for one have no problems paying them their fare.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I'm glad to see that different cabs can come to the airport. It was a ripoff having one company having a monopoly.

  • get real people
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    you people who you the airport a lot should complane about the rest of the airport i bought a bottle of coke at the counter and the lady said that would be 3$3.00 dollars a bag of $1.29 chips cost me $2.00 you tell me who is ripping who off you tell me ? let me think .......... must be the airport authury and i do not hear you people complane about them

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    To JP and G...I think a shuttle bus would work, especially during peak times. You can drive anywhere in this little town in ten minutes. I, again, have to agree with dildodonny, I've always thought it embarrasing that the first thing come from aways see upon arrival is a bunch of slovenly dressed miscreants making it difficult to even get in the door!

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    At least now the scariest cab rides in the country will be cheaper!

  • fintip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Cab companies and others warn that in the absence of a higher flat rate scheme at the airport, disembarking passengers may have a long wait for cabs. Fair enough - that could be one result of the free enterprise approach. But Torbay airport is unique in that it is only a few miles from the city centre - a fraction of what it is in other parts of North America. Even if they call upon landing, the wait shouldn't be any longer than it takes to get your luggage (probably less). Frequent flyer execs (with carry-ons) will call ahead or make arrangements in advance. The bottom line is that there is no good reason for passengers to pay a premium - other than as a subsidy to the airport authority. And whatever about the airport authority and the cab companies, no one will disagree that the drivers themselves earn their fares.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Does this mean we won't have the 10 or 20 gruff & unkempt taxi drivers loitering around the 'arrivals' door smoking and swearing? Excellent!

  • Ian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    As if cabs don't drive fast enough already now they may break the sound barrier trying to get there because there won't be any hanging around

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I've never been one to defend Cab Companies or their mostly unkempt drivers BUT the same people supporting the open system will be the first ones complaining when they arrive in St. John's on a flight on can't get a cab quickly.

  • JP
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Another reason why shuttle busses don't work in St. John's is that the hotels are scattered all over the place, making it very costly to run around dropping people off. Just think about a route that had to include The Battery, Hotel Newfoundland, the Delta, AND Holiday Inn, for example. Apart from everything else, the passengers would need to pack a lunch, the ride would take so long.

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I agree with Tnago - the flats rates were not fair.

    I used to arrive at the airport and call my own taxi and be picked up at the departures entrance.

    It would save me $9 for a ride home to Downtown compared to the flat rate.

    Canada's youngest, coolest province has not got airport service figured out yet.

    Some entrepreneur should set up a bus shuttle service from the major hotels and city destinations to the airport.

  • G
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Bill - Other companies could always pick up at the airport and would charge the meter rate not the overpriced flat rates. The companies just had to be called or booked they were not allowed to stand by and wait.

    I think that what is happening now is a much fairer system. All companies have an opportunity to be there and customers do not have to pay a huge cost to the taxi driver. The customer was covering the huge cost of exclusivity for the cab company, not the cab company or drivers!

    Taxpayer - there is not enough business at our airport and it is not as far from downtown as most airports, that is why a shuttle service is not justified. Many people will come pick up their loved ones and most business people will take a taxi over a shuttle because they are faster.

  • Isdaby
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Because the airport is so close to such a small city, as compared to most other airports in N.A., it really wouldn't take very long for a person stepping off a plane to call a cab to come pick them up as if it were at your own house.

    I think, for the St. John's airport, this open system is just fine.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    It won't be long before they are back to one company under contract. The passengers and tourists will suffer if there are no companies there standing by, and they have to phone for a cab. I didn't like the fact that there was an exclusive contract when I was a cab driver in St. John's, but I can see why it was needed. The problem was the airport would play the cab companies off one another to get more money for the contract. It's about time the cab companies said enougfh is enough. I am surprised it took this long. You may see a shortage of cab drivers at the airport if they have to wait between flights for a fare. And don't think that those drivers that are used to getting $22.50 a trip to the hotels are going to start using the meter now. If you look like your a CFA then prepare to pay more!

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Most of the comments above have been made by people who no idea what they are talking about.First off City Wide had a dress code unlike most of the other companies, The fares charged are set by the AIRPORT not the drivers or the cab company and its for the service of having a cab waiting ready to go as soon as you get off your flight (you can call a cab and wait) or the dispatcher will call a meter taxi for you from the last car in the line not the first car who has been waiting for 2 hours. The people smoking around the door are mostly the passengers that just come off the flight (i.e. workers from AB).

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Great to see the end of this debacle. Cabbies muttering uhhh let's wait for 5 more .... if you were the only one at the exit looking to see if they can operate a milk run out of it and take you all over town with 5 strangers! Get professional Airport Authority and get on with at least 2 shuttle buses... and errr no I don't mean those farcical yellow school buses you used one time when a plane was diverted here one Christmas Eve!