It must surely be an interesting time for taxi companies so we contacted Tony Kirby at Avenue Taxis to find out how things are going.
“We are coping as well as can be expected,” Tony said. “Obviously working practices have had to change. We now operate a closed-door office and only one member of staff can be in the office at any time so others are working remotely. Booking taxis via our app or web booker is working well but we still are manning the phones 24 hours a day seven days a week
Helping customers with shopping has always been part of the company’s normal service but food and prescription deliveries and the distribution of emergency food parcels and local authority literature have been added in recent weeks.
“We’ve also been busy transporting essential workers, including care and nursing staff, all of whom get a 10% discount,” said Tony.
Avenue Taxis was set up as a cooperative in 1955 by a group of Ipswich taxi drivers. It started with a telephone on a post at the bottom of Lloyds Avenue but now has a walk-in office in Neale Street and offers 24 hours a day 365 days a year service. Determined to ensure the continued success of ‘Ipswich’s Longest Established Taxi Company’ in an increasingly competitive marketplace, Tony Kirby, who worked first as treasurer and later as finance director for a period in the 1990s, purchased Avenue in 2014. Since then the company hasn’t looked back.
“We offer chauffeur style service at normal taxi prices,” says Tony. “It is this service and the quality of our drivers and vehicles which make Avenue stand out and why we have continued to grow since 2014. We now have a team of telephonists and dispatchers together with two admin staff. We operate a large fleet of vehicles including four-seat saloon cars, six-seat people carriers and eight-seat mini buses. We also have wheelchair accessible taxis. All our vehicles are equipped with vehicle tracking. When booking with our free app, you can view your driver and track his progress in real time.”
Tony expects things to return to some form of normality once schools and recreational establishments reopen their doors. Airport trips and wedding transport will recommence in time too and Tony and his team are ready to respond when that day comes.
“I’m so proud of how we have responded to the challenges presented by the coronavirus,” says Tony. “I’m very grateful to all my staff who not only adapted how they work, but also provided additional assistance when it was needed, all in line with government guidance in relation to social distancing.”
Avenue accepts payment via Visa, Visa Maestro, Master Card, Delta and Visa Electron Credit & Debit cards. When using their Free App, you can register your credit cards for ease of payment at the end of journeys.
Alternatively, in-car contactless payment is possible too, for all card types including Apple & Google pay.
And the number: 01473 888 888