Soni Vice, an owner/operator of Craig Taxi, poses with the company’s first van. Vice runs Craig Taxi with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Sarah. Among the company’s services are in-town rides, a courier service and one-way out of town trips to Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Soni Vice, an owner/operator of Craig Taxi, poses with the company’s first van. Vice runs Craig Taxi with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Sarah. Among the company’s services are in-town rides, a courier service and one-way out of town trips to Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden.

A family fare: After long wait, Craig family begins new taxi venture

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Quotable:

“We’re excited to be working in the Craig area. We believe our services will be a benefit to the community.”

— Soni Vice, a Craig resident and owner of Craig Taxi, a taxi/courier business that opened Dec. 1

After a two-year delay, a Craig family has received approval to open a new taxi/courier service.

Craig Taxi is owned and operated by Mike, Soni and Sarah Vice. The home-based, family business located at 322 Sage Court in Craig began operations Dec. 1.

The process to launch the business began in February 2010 when Mike and Soni applied for a passenger service license with the Public Utilities Commission in Denver.

“Any time you apply for a business license with the PUC, they have to alert similar businesses of your petition and give them a chance to protest,” Mike said. “We ended up fighting Alpine Taxi and All Around Taxi in court.”

Mike said his business settled with Steamboat Springs-based Alpine Taxi out of court with the concession that Craig Taxi wouldn’t operate in Steamboat Springs.

Four days of hearings took place in April 2010 at Craig City Hall before a PUC judge to settle the dispute with All Around Taxi, of Craig.

Although the PUC has a policy of issuing decisions within 180 days, a decision allowing the Vice family business wasn’t rendered until Sept. 21

“We were all set to go when we applied with the PUC two years ago,” Mike said. “After two years of waiting, we’re kind of in the middle of a soft start.”

Sydney Brasfield, owner of All Around Taxi, isn’t phased by the new competition.

“All I can say is it’s business as usual for us,” Brasfield said. “We started this company 10 years ago to service this community and we’ll continue to do so.”

So far, Mike said community response to his new business has been positive, which he attributes to his company’s rates.

The company currently has one van, but plans to add a second vehicle in January.

Craig Taxi offers rides to Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden.

However, because of the company’s agreement with Alpine Taxi, Craig Taxi may only take customers one way and must immediately return to Craig after a fare is dropped off.

“We are certainly happy to offer people rides to Steamboat and the Hayden airport, but we’re focusing on local operations to start,” Soni said. “We plan to negotiate a new agreement with Alpine Taxi in the next six months to a year that would allow us to wait for our customers in Steamboat, for example, and bring them home or meet customers at the airport when they return from a trip.”

In addition to providing rides, Craig Taxi is also operating a courier service. There are no restrictions on where the company can transport packages.

“We’re excited to be working in the Craig area,” Soni said. “We believe our services will be a benefit to the community.”

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