WAXHAW, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Getting a ride can be a struggle for those in small towns, especially when ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are not always reliable.
That dilemma gave one Waxhaw resident the idea to start his own cab service.
“Oh, I think it is fantastic,” said Neil Gimon, owner of The Dreamchaser’s Brewery. “We always hear, ‘oh, that is so far out.'”
In downtown Waxhaw, an historic Main Street is filled with businesses ready to serve customers.
“There really are no forms of transportation here yet, but I am going to be changing that,” Robert West said.
West is a retired New York City Police officer who moved to Waxhaw six years ago.
“So, I thought that I was retiring when I retired from New York City to come down here to live the life,” West said.
The retirement didn’t last long.
He joined the Waxhaw Police Department for nearly three years, then decided it was time for a career change.
“I was looking for a while for what I can do here, what I can do that I know about there to bring here to better this city, and this is what I came up with,” West explained.
He started a driving company called Finest Transportation. While driving around the area and speaking with customers, he realized the town was in dire need of reliable transportation.
“The outside area like Waxhaw is not forgotten about, but there are really no incentives for the drivers to stay here,” he said. “So at that point, I saw a need and found out why we don’t have any type of services.”
Wednesday, in front of neighbors, business owners, and town officials –- he launched the town’s very own cab service.
“The thing is ready to go, I just got to slap the sign on the side of the van, and we are good to go,” West said.
Like ride-share companies, customers will use an app to catch a ride.
“Any safe way to be able to get our customers or any of the customers from other bars or restaurants around here to get home safe is great,” Gimon said.
If things go well, West said he plans to double his fleet.