New local taxi to hit street Friday

Craig's one and only taxi will hit the city streets for the first time Friday night, if things go according to plan.

Preparing for the opening night of All Around Taxi on Thursday, owner Chris Souders put the magnets on his station wagon Thursday morning. His business partner, Sidney Brasfield, drove the car around town during the day, letting potential customers see the new service in town.

They'd hoped to open Thursday night, but due to an insurance paperwork snafu, their plans were derailed at the last minute.

But that is just part of starting a business like this one. The name of the game is waiting, Brasfield said.

Come January, Souders will have lived in Craig for one year. During that time, it's bothered him that the city had no transportation service.

Last September, realizing his current job was about to end but not wanting to leave Craig, he decided to do something about the lack of a transportation service.

Brasfield did most of the paperwork for the business. First, they had to fill out applications for the Public Utilities Commission, and receive approval from the PUC's board.

The PUC then issued All Around Taxi a temporary permit, stating no one else could start a taxi service in Craig without All Around's permission.

The PUC then required Souders and Brasfield to write taxi service regulations, such as no animals in the car, and customers who soil the car must pay for cleaning.

Finally, All Around Taxi had to purchase $5,100 in insurance.

But on Thursday afternoon, a piece of the insurance paperwork was missing, and Brasfield and Souders learned they'd have to wait one more day to open. By Friday evening, everything should be in order, and All Around Taxi should be officially open for business.

If this one cab does well, they'll think about putting out more, Brasfield said.

She said she'd like to talk to social services and see about helping shut-ins who may not have their own transportation, or may need groceries picked up for them.

The two partners haven't advertised for their service yet, though Brasfield said word of mouth advertising about the taxi has traveled well. She said lots of people around town have told her it's a fine idea.

When they do start advertising, they plan to put some ads in bars, making themselves available on New Year's Eve.

Cab rates will be $6 for anywhere in Craig and $2 per mile outside the city. Rates change depending on the number of passengers.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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