The familiar sight of a turquoise and yellow Valley Cab picking up and dropping off passengers in Mount Pearl will soon be a thing of the past now that Newfound Cabs owner Albert (Mooney) Newell has purchased the company from its owner and former Mount Pearl city councillor Ed Grant.
The number for calling a cab stays the same (368-6001), but everything else about the Valley will be changed to fall in line with Newfound.
“We operate at a higher standard than a lot of companies and we’re doing the same thing when we go into Mount Pearl,” says Newfound Cabs manager Derek Hayter.
“This is all about running a top-notch, professional, trained, experienced company with top-quality cars. That’s what we do. We’re not trying to just buy out as many cars and take junk. We’re about building the best company.”
Over the coming weeks vehicles will be fully inspected, repainted and rebranded, and have new radio systems installed. Drivers will be subject to the same screening process as all of Newfound Cabs’ existing drivers, meaning there will be background checks and some progressive training.
All of it will be done with an eye to being the preferred taxi of choice in a market dominated by large firms with a lot of cars on the road.
“The customers are much more discerning than they ever were,” Hayter says.
“If they’re not happy with the quality of what they’re getting — and that could be anything from buying a stove or fridge or flying with an airline or taking a taxi — they’re going to go and get the service they want because it’s out there.”
The deal has been in the works since before Newfound expanded into Mount Pearl in early May with 14 regular vehicles and one accessible vehicle.
Hayter says business has been surprisingly good.
“We figured it would be a bit slow starting, but it took off right from the start. We were pleasantly surprised by that.”
The initial plan is to get 25 vehicles licensed and on the road — including the current fleet of 14. If work volume dictates, there are additional licences available, Hayter says.