Risk just too great for drivers

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Rainbow Coast Taxis owner Ian Fackrell.
Camera IconRainbow Coast Taxis owner Ian Fackrell. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

With stronger social distancing advisories coming almost every day, one of Albany’s taxi companies has announced it will suspend operations until the COVID-19 crisis is over.

Rainbow Coast Taxis, one of three taxi companies in the city, this week confirmed it would pull its seven cars off the road.

Owner Ian Fackrell said he could not live with the thought of being responsible for someone being infected with COVID-19.

“It is just too dangerous,” he said.

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“The thought of being the perpetrator of infecting someone who may die is too difficult to live with.

“The social distancing is impossible in a taxi cab.

“It only takes one cough, sneeze or touching something that someone else has touched and you have infected someone.

“I am over 70 and one of my drivers is almost 70, and I think that was probably the last straw.”

Mr Fackrell said he was concerned his business would miss out on government help, but he was confident his cars would be back on the road when it was over.

“We used wipes on the car, spray on the outside where people touch and sanitiser for the drivers’ hands,” he said.

“But at the end of the day it could easily be a hit-and-miss thing.”

Albany City Cabs owner Tim O’Donnell said he was following government guidelines and had scaled back his fleet to meet decreasing demand.

An Eclipse Taxis spokeswoman said it was not planning to close down unless instructed.

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