A year ago, Mike Brewer, owner of Plaisance Transportation Solutions, applied for handicapped accessible taxi licenses for Fort St. John, as well as executive airport and limousine services.
His request was turned down by the Passenger Board of Transportation saying he didn't show public need, despite providing letters of approval from city council, the Association for Community Living as well as the Mayor's Disability Advisory Committee.
Brewer is requesting that there be two accessible cabs in Fort St. John, although he says he's willing to go to one if he has to.
Teco Cabs, who have a near monopoly on Fort St. John's taxi industry, submitted an objection to the Transportation Board.
They say the city has enough taxis and only requires between 7 and 10 of their 23 cab fleet.
Brewer says the Association for Community Living offered a handicapped accessible bus to both Fort St. John Taxi and Teco Cabs, but was turned down, being told it wasn't profitable.
He says the cost of a van is feasible if it is licensed both as a regular cab as well as an accessible one.
"They said I would put them out of business, basically. Okay, if your business is that hot that you say you've got a good taxi service, you run a good taxi service, why are you afraid of a little competition."
Brewer first saw the need for accessible taxis when he watched a man's wheelchair get stuffed into the back of a taxi outside of a local bar.
Fort St. John has a handyDART, but it doesn't run after 5:00 p.m. or on Sunday or holidays.
He now plans to appeal the Board's decision, with additional support from the Association for Community Living's clients.