Tracey, now the sole owner of the company, is still a driver-dispatcher, which means she still picks up passengers.
“I start at 5:30 in the morning, let the night driver go, cause we run 24/7 and I’ll do my paperwork for the night before. If calls come in, I’ll go do the call. Then we have book calls, but you have call-ins also. Then there are the things we do every day, the same thing. The taxi business is not what it used to be. It’s not taxing per se, there are now so many streams coming off of it. We don’t just do passengers, we deliver to all of the drug stores in town, they trust us, which I really like. I have an excellent crew, one of our guys have been working for Donnie’s longer than I’ve owned it. We deliver urine, blood, for the old folks home. We do the majority of the work for the Department of Community Services. We work for the hospital, deliver mail for them and King’s-Edgehill School. We do medical calls, deliver food. And we do a lot of work, which is my pride and joy, for New Boundaries, anything I can do for them I do, not a problem, I don’t charge.”
“In 1997 I worked at R & G’s Restaurant, and my husband worked for Donnie’s Taxi, working for Donnie when he was still alive. (My husband) said to me, ‘Donnie’s is up for sale,’ and I said ‘oh yeah,’ and they wanted $20,000 with this certain car, or $15,000 without the car. So I was driving across the causeway, going to R & G’s to go to work, went in, and there’s always a group of gentlemen there who come in and have a coffee, they’d meet there. So I walked in and this gentleman said to me ‘what’s up?’ because I looked really perplexed, I’m sure. I said ‘I think (my husband) wants to buy Donnie’s Taxi.’ He said ‘well you should.’ And I said ‘I don’t think anybody is going to touch us, you know I just couldn’t up with the money.’ The cut off was February the 28th. So he waited and it was a few days before the 28th of February and he said ‘how’d you make out? Did you go to the bank in Hantsport?” …I wasn’t able to. So he left and came back about two hours later and asked ‘are you off tomorrow?’ I told him I was and he said ‘I’ve got an appointment at 10 o’clock, I’ve guaranteed a $20,000 loan for you.’ I said to my boss, ‘what do I do?’ he asked if I would pay him back, I told him most definitely and he said ‘then go down to the bank, get the money.’ It took me three years and I paid him off, and what’s ironic, his name was Don.”
“Living in a small community, you get to know them. I remember my first call, the first person I ever drove in a taxi. I don’t even know if she’s still living. But you get to know them, a lot of them are elderly ladies and they go to get their hair done, or get their groceries, and they’re like clockwork. You know when they’re going to call on a certain day. Sometimes they get Alzheimer’s or a bit of it and then you get a son or a daughter asking ‘Tracey, did you see mom today? Did she call?’ I’ll say she’s at the hairdressers. They know they can call me and know where they are. I like that about being in a small town and being able to keep an eye on your customers. It’s a lot of juggling, but you get to know where to go and what to do.”
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