Darryl Curran - Orange Taxis
Darryl Curran is a man who wears many hats. Not only does he operate his own taxi, employing four drivers, run another business alongside his brothers, but he also serves as Chairman of the Taxi Cabs of Orange Cooperative ltd, a position he has held for the last 16 years.
The Orange Taxi co-operative is made up of 30 members, with 26 cars on the road and around one hundred drivers, giving Darryl plenty of things to contend with on a daily basis.
“My main role, you know is dealing with the day-to-day running of the Taxi Cabs of Orange. We offer a 24 hour, seven day a week service, I’m making sure that people get picked up on time. If they don't get picked up on time, finding out why they didn't. And I’m making sure everyone's compliant— police checks, criminal checks, driver's licenses… and I regularly speak with different levels of government, particular state government, trying to work out what our taxi industry needs.”
Recent changes to legislation have placed a lot more on the shoulders of taxi owners and co-operatives like theirs, said Darryl.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of paperwork,” he said.
Technology and ride sharing has also brought challenges for the taxi industry around the world, but Darryl is keen to embrace the benefits.
“I'm a big advocate of pushing forward and making sure that our customers have the easiest opportunity to book a taxi and we're always trying to look for better ways,” he said.
“So, you know, there's web booking, app booking, what we call quick book, easy call booking, phone booking, in car bookings. So there's six or seven different ways people can book a taxi in Orange and the more ways we have and the more seamless that it is, the less likely people will be to look for other options.”
Another hat Darryl wears, on top of his many other duties, is as a director on the Country Taxi Call Centre board.
The Orange-based call centre services 22 taxi fleets across Australia from as far as Broome, Derby, Alice Springs and Geraldton all the way through to the Orange and Bathurst area.
“We take one and a half million calls a year and I think we employ 25 staff. And again, that's all part of part of the process; we’ve got to ensure that people have a seamless service when they book their cab.”
And since 2010, Darryl and his brothers have run a business installing soil and mulches on commercial properties as well as roadside revegetation.
“We’ve got 12 employees here and we're currently working all over Sydney Atlanta on the M4, NorthConnex. I've got a truck up in Port Macquarie at the moment doing an install for a Bunnings project up there. So keeping busy!”
Darryl bought his own taxi plate 20 years ago and still reckons it was one of the best decisions he ever made.
While he doesn’t get behind the wheel much these days, it is a job he enjoys when he gets the chance.
“It's a great business. It's still something that I love. I unfortunately don't get in the taxi much anymore, but when I do, I actually really enjoy it. It's not something that I've stepped out off because I don't enjoy it. I actually look forward to getting in it,” he said.
In fact, the day Orange City Life spoke with Darryl he was actually meant to be behind the wheel.
“Yeah. I was actually meant to drive today, but I've got lots of other little projects I like to do. I'm very passionate about Orange, so I’m on the economic development committee – that was why I couldn't drive the cab today - and I'm on the aging and access committee, the disability Committee, and the sport and Rec. committee. I'd rather have input than sit back and whinge about what's not happening. I'd rather be proactive and try and change things, if we can.”