Cabbies hit the roads on New Year’s Eve
Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Jeff Kilby did not do any drinking New Year’s Eve, but he did a lot of driving.
That’s to be expected on New Year’s Eve if you are a cabdriver like Kilby, who drives for Jack’s Cab and Transportation Services. Kilby, a veteran cabbie, knows he will have plenty of passengers each New Year’s Eve and into the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.
“It’s one of the busiest nights of the year,” Kilby said Tuesday afternoon.
Jack’s Cab and Transportation Services does treat New Year’s Eve a bit differently from other nights of the year, Kilby noted.
“We do take reservations. People do call us to go to bars, out to eat and out to party,” Kilby said just hours before sunset New Year’s Eve.
Kilby expected to be out transporting passengers until at least 1 a.m. New Year’s Day. Passenger loads on New Year’s Eve tend to be larger than usual because anywhere from a couple to five or six people will share a ride in his cab as they make their rounds New Year’s Eve and return to their homes or hotel rooms, he noted.
Jack May, owner of Jack’s Cabs and Transportation Services, said he’s learned one thing during the 22 years he’s operated cabs.
“New Year’s Eve, if not the busiest night, is one of the busiest nights of the year,” May said.
Whether it’s a short drive from a patron’s home in Washington to a New Year’s Eve party in the city or taking several patrons from Washington, Chocowinity or Aurora to Greenville to celebrate New Year’s Eve, May said his drivers are ready for both the short hauls and long hauls.
Other cabdrivers have similar experiences and views.
“New Year’s Eve is always one of my busiest nights,” said Sam Whitley, owner of Whitley’s Cab, on Tuesday afternoon.
Whitley said he expected to be out until “1 or 2 or 3 in the morning.”
Whitley said his passenger loads on New Year’s Eve tend to be larger than other times.
“You often carry six. Sometimes I can get eight in the cab,” Whitley said.
Back when Buddy Moore was alive and operated L-Cheapo’s cab service from Chocowinity, he was known to use a 15-passenger van to transport people to and from their destinations on New Year’s Eve.
Roger Meyland, owner of Grub Brothers Eatery and Open Bar, both in downtown Washington, says not only will he call a cab for his New Year’s Eve patrons who may have had too much to drink then get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, he does that any day or night to make sure the get home safely.
“I’ll always do that. Sometimes, I’ll take them home, if they live close by like in Washington Park,” Meyland said.