Grand Lake now has taxi service through Valley Taxi | SkyHiNews.com

Grand Lake now has taxi service through Valley Taxi

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

TONYA BINA/SKY-HI DAILY NEWS

With the number 531-6030, Matt Lloyd and Curt Spencer are stepping up to fill a niche in Grand Lake.

It’s been about five years since Grand Lake has had any sort of taxi or reliable late-night transportation service.

With one starting this weekend, word on the street is: “It’s about time.”

“Some people tell us, ‘Boy, we sure would love to enjoy music on the deck on Friday and Saturday nights,’ but they’re not wanting to because having even just one or two drinks in the system, like a couple glasses of wine, can still get a person in trouble,” said Lisa Jenkins, owner of the Gateway Inn at the edge of town.

Grand County’s DUI problem “is a serious issue,” Lloyd said.

With his and Spencer’s taxi company, launched in November 2007 in the Fraser Valley and now expanding to Grand Lake, he hopes they can curb the number of drivers senselessly getting behind the wheel exactly when they shouldn’t.

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When passing out flyers and cards in town last weekend, Lloyd heard from a slew of well-wishers who are thankful there will be an alternative to hitching or taking an expensive ” or potentially deadly ” gamble.

“People seem excited about the taxi service,” he said. “They feel it’s needed.”

The service will be abbreviated at first, with Friday and Saturday nights only from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. starting this weekend. After June 15, Valley Taxi hopes to run evenings-to-late-night seven nights a week. Lloyd said they hope to eventually provide service during daytime hours, depending on demand.

“Our goal is to run 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. both in Winter Park and Grand Lake, 365 days a year,” Lloyd said.

“The big problem is participation. It doesn’t do anybody any good if nobody rides it, or if bars, restaurants and the town don’t support it.”

Valley Taxi says it will not interrupt service in the Fraser Valley. Catering to Grand Lake as well as Winter Park can help to “bridge the communities a little more with transportation,” Lloyd said.

“I think it’s awesome actually,” said Jean Oviatt, a bartender at Grumpy’s. “I think we’ve needed one out here for a long time. I work here on Friday nights; it’s nice to have an option if people aren’t going to drive. We’ll put it to use.”

And not just the bar patrons.

“As a bartender, I’ll use it as well, because I don’t have vehicle and sometimes I have to walk home at two in the morning.”

Valley Taxi has two large passenger vehicles that each seat 15 people and two six-person mini-vans.

Fares, which are regulated by the state, are $2 for the ride to show up, $2 per person and an added $2 per mile. (It’s also customary to tip taxi drivers around 15 to 20 percent for the ride).

And Valley Taxi has pre-pay punch cards for those who want to include a taxi ride into their evening-out budget ahead of time, eliminating the “I can’t afford it” excuse at the end of the night.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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