A WEYMOUTH taxi firm has changed hands.
Ian Ferguson, who owns both Weyline Taxis and Bee Cars, has purchased Street Cars, which have offices in Maiden Street.
Mr Ferguson confirmed the move during an interview with the Echo.
He said: “I have come to an arrangement to purchase Street Cars and as of next month (September) I will be the official operator.”
Street Cars will keep its name, but Mr Ferguson aims to return it to its ‘former glory’.
He explained: “It’s not always been a bad firm, but I want to get it back to being a viable and safe option for passengers.”
He added that the offices in Maiden Street will undergo a six-week refurbishment, but phones will still be answered and the firm will continue to operate all over the borough.
Although this acquisition means Mr Ferguson will own three of the town’s taxi firms, he says he does not own a monopoly, with taxi firms, including Fleetline and Nicky’s Taxis, still operating in the area.
He also said that there are still plenty of private hire operators.
“In this game it’s very difficult to grow organically, so growth by acquisition is the only viable option” he added.
Mr Ferguson first moved to Weymouth in 2009 and has been working in the taxi business for 37 years.
He says he is responsible for bringing automated dispatch systems to Weymouth taxis, which he introduced five years ago.
“The system we use can dispatch five cars in the space of two minutes.
“We track every vehicle and can play a journey back on our link” he said.
Since introducing this dispatch system Weyline and Bee Cars have completed more than half a million jobs.
Mr Ferguson is also Vice Chairman of Weymouth BID.
He said: “I live in Weymouth and am committed to the town as a business owner and member of the community. We at Weyline have always worked very closely with charity organizations and provide a taxi to and from the homeless bus shelter. I like to think I am doing my bit. ”