Timboon Taxis owner Lindon Anderson once employed at least six drivers, but a series of COVID lockdowns and a driver shortage means he's now operating a one-man-show in peak tourist season.
Not only do Cobden couple Lindon Anderson and Sandra Timmons own the only taxi service in Timboon - they also run the rail trail bike hire service and regular food and shuttle tours of the Great Ocean Road.
In better times, the couple had multiple employees to operate their business ventures, but after two slow years due to COVID-19 lockdowns and drivers leaving for full-time work, Mr Anderson is now the sole driver.
"It's been really busy lately," he said.
"It's just one of those things you just have to do naturally, I suppose. You just have to organise your day the day before. All our jobs like at the Great Ocean Walk are pre-booked so you sort of know what you're doing then you get the curly ones that come in the middle.
"Generally the people who want the taxi are pretty flexible."
Mr Anderson said there are a few qualified drivers in the area but they have chosen other fields.
"There are a few there but they just don't want to do it," he said.
"I had one bloke who was pretty good, but as soon as COVID hit he went out and got another job - we had no work from March of the year before until Melbourne opened up again."
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Mr Anderson said hiring new drivers was difficult.
"We put an ad out and we had one response who was a bit hesitant and he decided not to take the job," he said.
"We do have a retired fella in Cobden though who is happy to help out on the days he's free."
Ms Timmons said the 20-year-old business used to be very busy.
"We used to be very busy in the past, but due to COVID all of our big runs just came to a halt and never came back," she said.
"We used to have a lot of fly-ins and fly-outs due to the gas plant but no more. A lot of our regular work just stopped all of a sudden so now we're doing Great Ocean Walk trips for people.
"We can't get drivers, they left us during COVID to get full-time work which is understandable. We've also had to pull back on the night work because we're living in Cobden now rather than Timboon and it's a long way to go for a $5 run.
"It's not really worth it anymore."
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