News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 31, 2014

Cab company to get new ownership

Previous owner sells to redirect focus on ambulance market

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — By late spring, the familiar color of Yellow Cab of Terre Haute will change to the green and white colors of E2Taxi, a Bloomington-based company that will be the new owners of the cab service effective Sunday.

Initially, four taxi cabs and four other vehicles used by Yellow Cab will remain in use. However, by late spring, six new Toyota Prius automobiles and one MV-1, a wheelchair equipped vehicle, will replace the current fleet.

“We operate as clean as we can be environmentally,” said James J. McLary, president of E2Taxi. “That is one of the things we preach, and we do it.”

The company, McLary said, uses Prius vehicles, which operate using both gasoline and batteries, in Bloomington, Ind., averaging 45 to 48 miles per gallon.

“We think this [Terre Haute] market has been grossly underserved,” McLary said. Bloomington, which is larger than Terre Haute, has 40 taxis operating amongst three separate taxi companies, he said.

“We see this growing over the next three to four years up to 15 to 20 vehicles. I have been in the business for 40 some years. We have looked at Terre Haute and looked at the service level that is there now and have looked at similar-sized cities, and we firmly and strongly believe that it will support that,” McLary said.

Drivers, and even the current operations manager, will remain the same during the transition, McLary said. Also, the name of Yellow Cab of Terre Haute will remain intact until new vehicles are in place. The telephone number to reserve a cab will also remain the same, at 812-478-5000.

The company will dispatch taxis from its Bloomington-based dispatch center through the Internet, cell phones and automated dispatch services.

One new feature to Terre Haute will be the use of credit, debit or E2Taxi cards, the latter being a pre-paid credit card, to pay for cab fare.

“About 60 to 70 percent of our revenue in Bloomington comes from credit or debit cards,” McLary said. “That’s what today’s market is all about. We have [credit card] readers in the car and drivers can swipe cards there.”

Yellow Cab of Terre Haute was started and owned by Russell Ferrell, CEO and president of TransCare ambulance service. Ferrell said TransCare has been working for the past three years on growing the company outside of Vigo County, and the company is in the first phase of that growth.

That, Ferrell said, “reinforced the idea that we needed to remove ourselves from anything other than ambulance-related work that involved dispatch in order to give 100 percent focus on the ambulance industry.”

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.