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Islander - "Hailin' A Cab"
Read what Ron Taylor, General Manager of Sanibel Taxi, says is the number one goal of his operation.

There's a poster of "Driving MIss Daisy" on the wall of the office of Sanibel Taxi.   The casual passer-by might wonder what the close relationship between Daisy and her driver has to do with a "call-me-up, I'll come get you at the airport" kind of operation.  

But according to Ron Taylor, general manager of Sanibel Taxi, the philosophy of caring for the individual is the number one goal of his operation.  He said the fact that Sanibel Taxi is the only taxi service on the island and they offer that "extra personal attention" makes the company special.  

Taylor has headed Sanibel Taxi since Roger and Bill Pritchard purchased it form J.P. Hanley.  Pritchard purchased the business because they felt it was necessary to offer taxi service for those on island who are elderly or incapacitated and cannot drive to take care of everyday necessities.  

Explaining about 20 percent of Sanibel Taxi's business is on-island, Taylor said, "Other taxi services can come on to the island, but they don't offer local island service.  We are there when someone's car breaks down, when people have errands to run, doctor's appointments off island, visits to the hospital".

"If someone is sick and can't pick up their prescriptions or can't get groceries, we'll do that and then they can pay us when we deliver them.  And the police call us if they stop a driver and his status is marginal.  We drive them home.  This is a business, but people come first."

He said the taxi company sometimes receives calls from children of people who live on the island asking them to check out things after storms and some families have special accounts that are paid monthly to provide service for parents who live here and no longer drive.

Scheduling and keeping reliable, customer friendly drivers are Taylor's greatest challenges, but he has some who have been with Sanibel taxi as long as he has.  He explained many are retired from a career and will work the season and take as much as two to three months off to pursue personal interests.  

Sanibel Taxi's fleet includes passenger vans and Astro vans in addition to the automobiles.

"The vans are popular because people on Sanibel tend to want to keep a low profile and don't want to hire a limousine.  Also, they are really necessary for large groups that come to Sundial," Taylor said.  

From the Islander - "Hailin' A Cab"
By Gwenda Hiett-Clements