Now that some restrictions on our movements have been lifted again, it’s good to know that there is a way for people to get around, or to have things delivered to their homes. Elite Taxis have been operating in North Grenville for some months now, and have had to adapt to the new realities of the pandemic just like every other business in the community.
The company is run by Fletcher Wehmeyer, and his mother, Mary Lynn Baker, and they have invested quite heavily in the business. They have three vehicles, two cars and a minivan, to cater to all clients, and they have equipped each one with lexan shields to separate the driver from passengers to maintain social distance and ensure health and safety issues are properly handled.
Elite Taxis are regulated by the Municipality of North Grenville, which sets the rules regarding the meters that calculate the cost of each trip taken. Their drivers are subjected to a vulnerable sector and driving record check by the police and all drivers must be approved by the municipality before they are allowed to drive any of the vehicles. Safety and security are priorities for the company.
Fletcher is happy to note that the community has welcomed the service, and there are many regular clients who use the cars on a regular basis. “Being in the community now for three months, I have gotten to meet so many amazing people and built some great relationships with customers, or you could even call them friends now. We all look forward to continuously serving the community with an above average service that people of the community can trust and rely on.”
There is quite a range of services offered by Elite. There are flat rates for out of town trips, as Feltcher explained: “As for the service area, we will literally go anywhere (besides the USA). We have set flat rates for many places all over Ontario and Quebec, so a customer can just call and we will get them a price on the trip. Airports and hospitals are also places we will go.”
It is a 24/7 service for the community, involving everything from setting up accounts with companies to bring individuals or parcels from point A to point B, with the school boards, ODSP, Ontario Works, etc., for example.
Seniors travelling within Kemptville receive a 10% discount on any metered fare above $5. Elite even offers a delivery service of any goods except alcohol. As Fletcher pointed out to me: “We can pick your online orders up from a business and deliver them to you (Walmart, Canadian Tire, restaurants etc). We ask customers to prepay for items, or have cash to pay for the product, the delivery fee can be paid by debit, credit or cash. We have debit/ credit card machines in every vehicle, or prepay over the phone with a credit card”.
Fletcher even has a vehicle boost service, where they use their own booster pack to come out and give your vehicle a boost. There is a program for customers who use the taxis four times a week to go to and from work. They run the meter from home to work and round the fare down to the nearest 25¢, and that is the flat rate to go to work and return home. This helps the customer budget going to work, regardless of road conditions or road closures. The Elite Customer Card also helps them save a small amount of money on every trip to work. Although it may not be a lot of money, it adds up over time.
In a small town, and a wider rural community that has no public transit system in place, having a service like Elite Taxis is important for many. Getting to hospital or other medical appointments, an occasional trip to Ottawa or Brockville, or even just getting to the store to pick up a week’s groceries, can be a major problem for people. Fletcher and Mary Lynn have contributed to many causes in North Grenville since their business started last year, and they are committed to providing a reliable, safe and low-cost service here.
Everyone has been affected by the lockdowns and restrictions we’ve endured for a year now. Elite Taxis are doing what they can to make life easier for residents. It is a valuable asset for North Grenville.