Taxi service trial

OPPORTUNITY: Denise and James Wei are reviving a Myrtleford-based taxi service with drivers Alan Muller, Gail Dawson and Arnold Sparks with a three-month, limited-distance trial which is to start on Monday. PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg

MYRTLEFORD doctor James Wei and his wife, Denise, are to launch on Monday a three-month trial to enable them to assess demand for a revived alpine taxi service and its viability.

The Taxi Commission has approved and VicRoads this week licensed the use of Dr Wei’s hybrid car for the trial, in which the couple will offer from Myrtleford a limited-distance Ovens Valley service.

They have engaged three drivers – Alan Muller, Gail Dawson and Arnold Sparks – to staff a time-tabled roster.

Passengers will be able to arrange taxi travel within Ovens Valley communities or to be taken to Wangaratta, but the service will not be available for travel to or from Mount Beauty at this stage.

Dr Wei, a doctor at Myrtleford’s Standish Street Surgery for the past two and a half years, said the pair had become concerned about the effect on one of their friends of the closure of the former Myrtleford taxi service late last year.

Their friend, a widow, had become solely reliant on the goodwill of friends or community volunteers to help her travel in the community and farther afield.

The Weis also found that others, including those who were either elderly or housebound, faced similar travel challenges.

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