Colin Nicol is responsible for miles of smiles when it comes to overseeing the smooth running of customers’ journeys with popular Bognor Regis cab company Ace Taxis.
And he is even happy to help out controversial TV hosts Jeremy Kyle and Judge Rinder on occasion, too!
For Colin has been with the company for more than two decades and knows the industry, the town and his clients inside out. And while Colin can vividly recall using traditional methods — such as a wooden board complete with clock face type dial with pegs — in the past, he is hugely keen to embrace modern technology.
So it was an easy decision to move with the times and launch the taxi company’s very own app — and it has been a roaring success, says Colin.
The app — a mobile phone application — functions in pretty much the same fashion as that pioneered by Uber. Clients can follow their taxi and receive information such as the car make, colour and the number plate.
Colin, who runs Ace Taxis ably assisted by manager Mandy Storey and a team of 40 experienced and trusted drivers from the Lennox Street nerve-centre in the town centre, said: “Apps are very much the future and so it made perfect sense for us to embrace the technology, and we’ve done so with great success, thankfully.
“I would urge customers to download the app — it’s quick, easy, safe and free.
“It’s a very positive development for the industry. I’ve seen lots of changes here at Ace Taxis over the years. But one thing that has always remained is the friendly, reliable service with competitive pricing.
“We have built our reputation on efficiency and affordability. You could say we are committed to going that extra mile for our customers, and it is a service with which they continue to be very happy.”
Ace Taxis has grown in the 40 years since the business started. One aspect that perhaps Colin couldn’t have imagined is ferrying people to TV shows such as The Jeremy Kyle Show and Judge Rinder. “We work with a company called Cabfind and we regularly take people up to Manchester, or to the airport, to appear on the shows,” he explained.
Among the day-to-day jobs for drivers are those which cover the company’s contracts with the NHS, Southern Rail, and West Sussex County Council. Other typical journeys see cars ferrying passengers on airport transfers, school runs, doctors’ appointments (wait and return) service, as well as transport to and from docks and long and short-haul distances.
Ace Taxis also has a pre-paid card on which people can deposit money in advance. Colin added: “We find that a lot of people of advancing years use the card for sheer convenience.
“Also, lots of parents who want to know that their teen children can get a taxi without any hassle if they are short of money at the time.”
Colin refuses to rest on his laurels as far as continuing to grow the business is concerned. He has recently taken over BRTS Station Taxis, established 74 years ago, latterly known as Regis Taxis. And the Chichester arm of the company, Aces Cars, continues to flourish, too.
Ace Taxis, Lennox House, 9, Lennox St, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1LZ. Phone: 01243 868868.
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