New taxi service on Bowen
Ever fancy yourself hailing a cab on NYC’s Fifth Avenue, a la one of those Sex in the City gals? Conversely, imagine the frustration of watching a taxi meter click onwards and upwards while trapped in Hastings Street gridlock?
Don't worry about those scenarios, as the Usher Brothers, Bowen’s newest answer to inter-island and points beyond transportation, have pulled up to the rescue.
“Our motive is to give people what they need,” says Michael Usher, a veteran driver of trucks, buses, shuttles and taxis, “and to get them home safely.”
His brother Patrick will man the dispatch centre, conveniently located in their shared suite above the Bowen Pub. His additional job description includes taking care of the books and minor mechanical repairs.
For a heartwarming twist on this welcome service, the two were only re-united as brothers just over 10 years ago. Patrick has since stuck close to Michael and his incarnations as a transportation expert. When an islander visiting Summerland suggested Bowen would be the place to start a taxi service, both got revved up for an all-round win.
“I don’t even know her name,” says Michael of the woman who served as catalyst to the move and business. Hopefully, they’ll cross paths soon.
After all, it’s only been a few weeks since the Ushers disembarked. The business plan fell together quickly and easily, largely in thanks, assures Michael, to Glen Cormier, proprietor of the Bowen Pub. While the brothers laud his support and assistance, the endeavour is in Glen’s best interests as a responsible pub owner.
“We’re all aware of the dangers [of drinking and driving],” says Glen. “I was happy to help when they approached me with the idea as it also fills a community need.”
For now, Bowen Island’s land transportation needs are offered with extra comfort. The vehicle in which Michael and Patrick arrived is an exclusive -- one of five in Canada – 1992 Lexus sedan with an uber sound system. It will, however, be reserved for over-the-water and airport runs once a second, more island-friendly one is secured.
“The Lexus is too fancy for regular runs,” explains Michael, its low-carriage being compromised navigating certain tree-rooted and winding driveways.
Regardless, whether out for a night on the town, nursing a sprained ankle or simply not wanting to hoof the island with groceries, all are welcome. Even our pooch population can catch a lift, providing they bring their own car blanket.
Flat fees rates, better for the company and service users in such a contained area, are posted in various businesses or by calling Patrick at 604-353-TAXI (8294).
Another option is checking in with pub staff – they can always take a broom handle to the ceiling to summons that a fare is waiting. In other words, unlike the SITC gals, no mini-skirt and flirty wave are required for this latest safe, experienced Bowen Island transportation service that’s complete with a smile.