CLINTON — Ride-seekers in the Gateway area soon will have two taxicab operations to get them to their destination.
Larry Witt, 63, a Clinton native who operates On the Go Transportation in Davenport, plans to start the Clinton Cab Company sometime before Memorial Day.
His taxicab service will at first entail one seven-person minivan that will be on call for people in Clinton, Camanche and Fulton, Ill.
"But very seldom would have people riding with you," Witt told members of the Rules and Regulations Committee on Tuesday. "Usually, you're picking up a senior citizen, taking her to the store, taking her home; picking up somebody that's drunk at the bar, taking them home."
Witt has owned On the Go transportation for more than 11 years. After his sister, Rita Walton, the owner of Main Avenue Pub, encouraged him to start a service in Clinton, Witt decided it would be a good idea considering the city's size and the population that would utilize the service.
"It looks like Clinton is on the upswing with all the economic development that's coming," Witt said. "I think there is definitely a need in this community for a cab."
Rules and Regulations Committee member Julie Allesee lauded the addition of a taxi service as an improvement to the quality of life in the area not only for elderly residents or people heading home from the bar, but boaters, as well.
"We don't have access to any vehicle, taxi, bus anything from the riverfront either and when boaters come in and want to stay overnight there's not way to get them anywehre. They can't get downtown, they can't go out."
Witt doesn't have concrete times set for the service, but plans to offer service that would serve people from the morning until late night, with service being extended on weekends.
"I'm feeling pretty good about it," he said. "I've done a good job in Davenport so I'm excited to expand into Clinton."
Travis Winter, 35, of Clinton, also plans to operate a taxi service in Clinton, although, like Witt, he has yet to turn in his paperwork to the city. Winter said he plans to talk with city officials in the next couple of weeks to get his business running.
"Clinton has been without a taxi service for so long, I just felt like we really needed a taxi in town," Winter said.
He's contemplated the idea of running his own taxi service for nearly a year, during which he spent doing his homework on rates, what type of vehicles and other specifics for his business. This will be his first experience running as cab service. Winter works at Archer Daniels Midland and also owns A Cut Above Lawncare Service.
Although nothing is official, Winter plans to run his service in a Crown Victoria or a minivan from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in Clinton, Camanche and Fulton.