A taxi driver who launched his own cab firm has moved into new offices after seeing his business grow.
Simon Oliver has been operating Green Dot Taxis in Boldon for 18 months after starting as a solo driver.
Since then, he has taken on 10 new drivers and now he has been handed the keys to a new office in the former Steward’s House next door to the Shack Club in North Road, Boldon.
Green Dot taxis aims to be an environmentally friendly firm, using state-of-the-art equipment to monitor the carbon footprint of cars and actively reducing Co2 emissions.
Mr Oliver, who has lived in Boldon all of his life, said: “We are receiving a lot of support from people, and the work has been steadily increasing to the point where I have been able to employ more drivers.
“People have been telling us they have missed having a local taxi firm with local drivers who know the area.
“Now we have the new office, hopefully this will be a step in the right direction to boost our trade further.
“By having this new office it means people can walk in and wait for a taxi when they are leaving the club rather than standing out in the rain.”
Mr Oliver decided to launch his business after following in his father’s footsteps and working as a taxi driver.
After four years of being a cabbie for someone else, he decided to launch his own firm.
He said: “I just felt there needed to be another more local firm. We are still monitoring our carbon footprint and are always looking at ways in which to reduce it.”
For the past three months Mr Oliver has been carrying out research in a bid to reduce the amount of pollution caused by his firm’s vehicles.
He has discovered the average time it takes customers to get out to their taxi is five minutes.
He is hoping to reduce that time by introducing a loyalty scheme in which customers who are ready and waiting for the taxi when it arrives will receive a loyalty sticker. They will receive two if a taxi is late.
This will enable them to claim one of the rewards which will be available from the firm, which could include a free or discounted taxi ride.
Mr Oliver said: “When I first launched there was a lot of speculation that it wouldn’t work. But here I am 18 months down the line and the calls keep coming in.
“Because we are a local company with local drivers there is a lot of trust and we have a lot of returning custom.
“I have lived in Boldon all of my life and I think that has played a big part in helping the company to improve.”
Green Dot Taxis offers a service including wheelchair access, eight-seater transport, airport fixed prices, light removals and route estimate prices. Pets are also welcome in their taxis.
To book a taxi, contact Green Dot Taxis on 519 6777. For information on the firm, go to Green Dot Taxi’s facebook page.