City Cab has ceased operations. But a competitor is picking up the fares and may soon take over the business.
In an e-mail to the Clovis News Journal, City Cab owner Christian K. Heller said, “Constantly increasing costs of daily operations and related expenses have forced me to hang up the taxi cab keys effective immediately.”
Callers to City Cab hear a recorded message: “I am sorry to announce we have closed our business until further notice.” Callers are directed to contact competitor G&C Taxi.
G&C may soon be the new operator.
Cheryl Little, who owns G&C with husband Gilbert, said negotiations are under way to take over operations, which would leave the Clovis and Portales areas with one taxi service.
Little said the transition with Heller has been good, although hectic. In the few days since City Cab closed, G&C has been “swamped,” and having to “turn calls away,” Little said. She said they plan to hire more drivers to add to their staff of five and put on a second vehicle in the next couple of days.
The three-year-old business usually gives local rides, Little said, for people going to work or transporting from the hospital home. And on weekends, people often call for rides to and from bars, she said.
She said that G&C is now the only taxi service between Clovis and Albuquerque to the west and Texico to the east, and also drops off in Texas as far as Lubbock and Amarillo.
“Chris has been really wonderful,” she said, adding that he’s been “very good with customers.”
City Cab began operations in June 1998, transporting more than “11,000 individuals that did not want to drink and drive,” Heller said in his e-mail.
“We have made a lot of great acquaintances over the past nearly eight years, and we will cherish the memories of them all,” he wrote.
Faced with finding workers, higher gas prices and insurance, Heller said he made the difficult choice. He said he placed a newspaper ad and worked with the local state unemployment office, but got not one candidate to hire.
“Nobody wanted to work,” he said, which forced him to put in 80 hours a week.
He came to the conclusion that he had to close up shop.
“I can make more money working for someone else at minimum wage,” he said.