AFTER 31 years Gunnedah taxi driver John Lord has completed his last fare.
As of Tuesday, Mr Lord and Gunnedah Taxis ceased trade, leaving one remaining taxi company to serve the area.
Mr Lord put the closure of the business down to a “multitude of factors”.
“There are a lot of reasons behind the move to finish up,” Mr Lord told the Namoi Valley Independent.
“For one thing it is a very hard business and the cost involved in operating a taxi just became too much.
“Another is government legislation and the added costs that they bring, for instance a green slip for a cab now is about $3000 after getting up near $5000 in the past, while a normal car is something like $600 or $700.
“I understand the safety legislation side of things that totally makes sense, and while the government has brought the price of plates and green slips down, it still means that making the business viable is just a bit too hard.
“In the end it just comes down to a case of pure mathematics.”
The sixty-year-old said that a change in community trends also played a part in the decision to cease operation.
“Things around town are very different now to when I first started driving,” he said.
“The way people go out on weekends has changed, when I started folks would go out at 6pm and often return home between 9pm to midnight. Now days, people tend to stay home later and head out to a pub or whatever for the last few hours before closing.
“As well as that, being a mining town, there is a lot of shift work around so nights in town tend to be a bit quiet as well which makes an impact.”
Mr Lord said the decision to walk away was a difficult one.
“We took out some advertisements to ensure people knew, we didn’t want to just drop it on them,” he said.
“I’ve got a bit teary about it over the last few days, I did inform some customers in person.
“I mean I have carted some of my customers around regularly for 20 years now, and it is tough to walk away.
“Honestly I’m quite flat and depressed about it all.”
The Gunnedah local said he was unsure what the future holds.
“I’m not too sure what I’ll do next,” he said.
“We might still have a school run to keep us going but I’m not sure, things are a bit up in the air right now.
“I do want to thank our loyal customers for their support over the years.”