Getting rides during the holiday season might be difficult this year
Since the summer it has been extremely hard to find a ride in the Twin Ports. And by the time the holidays come around those wait times are expected to increase across the industry.
Kurt Lagarde owner of SK Taxi says it’s already been difficult for passengers saying, "Where we used to be able to get people in 20 minutes we are now pushing 40 minutes."
And that wait is about to get even longer. "Every time we see the weather change we see more rides, more phone calls”, says Lagarde.
We spoke to driver Jeff Bushnell who has been in the business for 23 years. He says the main problem for these long times are the depleting number of workers. He identifies three problems the first being people not working anymore in the industry. Another being some drivers’ concerns about getting COVID-19 while working. And a small portion of drivers switched from transporting people to transporting food which seems to be the easier option.
So with those limited amount of drivers, the wait during the holidays will definitely be longer. But you can help speed up the process for everyone.
"I think the biggest thing is when you call and you hear 15-20 minutes it means be ready in 15-20 minutes, not ‘ok I got to put my shoes on now.’ I think that that is a brutal one for us. Otherwise I think it’s mostly weather deterrent”, Lagarde says.
And when the snow falls drivers will be taking extra precautions to keep you safe which in time increases wait times. Kurt says, "We try to utilize the emergency routes as much as possible. It’s Minnesota we’re going to get snow. So you go slower take it easy and you know try to pay a little more attention the rest of the time of the year."
And out of all of the holidays drivers say to look out for New Years. The SK Taxi owner says, "New Year’s Eve going into New Year’s Day is probably the most hectic time that we get as far as call volume goes. There’s more pedestrians there’s more this there’s more that."
So best to plan ahead for the upcoming this holiday season.