Whaley Transport brings new taxi service to town


Photo by John Bryant
Beverly Walker is a driver for Whaley’s Transport, a new taxi service that opened its Elizabethton office this week, giving local residents a new option in private transportation.
  By Thomas Wilson
 
  twilson@starhq.com

  Two months after the city's last private taxi service closed its business, a longtime Johnson City cab company has established a new transportation service in Elizabethton.
  Whaley's Transport, located at 418 Johnson Ave., launched a new taxi cab service in Elizabethton on Wednesday night. Owned by Susan Whaley, the taxi service company fills a void of private transportation lost to dozens of local residents when the city's last cab company closed two months ago.
  "We're here to make a living, not a killing," Whaley told the STAR on Thursday. "We're here to do a service and the best service we possibly can."
  Black and White Cab Company closed in October after more than 50 years of service leaving the city without any private taxi service. Shortly thereafter, over 200 residents of Village East Apartments and Courtyard Apartments signed petitions requesting the city and/or county government create some form of public transportation service for citizens.
  Whaley's Transport representative Adam Henry, who spoke to the STAR Thursday morning from the company's Elizabethton office, said the taxi service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  "We will pretty much go anywhere," said Henry. "We've already done a few runs to Johnson City to Asbury Center."
  Whaley said two vehicles are presently taking customers around the county. She said she plans to bring a limousine to the market within the next five-to-seven days to accommodate larger groups of customers that prefer to travel in groups.
  "Elderly people like to go in groups, especially to get their groceries or go to the pharmacy," Whaley said. "The limo will be big enough for three, four or five people. If we have people going to the airport or longer trips, they will be more comfortable."
  Whaley's husband Walt has operated WW Cab Company in Johnson City for more than 25 years. She launched Whaley's Transport in 1998 to serve the rural areas of Washington County.
  She said her husband avoided entering the Elizabethton market for several years out of professional courtesy for drivers of the existing Black and White and Courtesy cab companies. She said the companies' driver often referred customers to WW when they relocated in Johnson City.
  "He felt very loyal to them and he would not come over here and start on their turf," she said.
  Whaley, who resides with her husband in the Stoney Creek community, said she has wanted to establish a taxi service in the community for some time. She said loyal customers kept the companies running through the past years of high gasoline prices and high vehicle insurance costs.
  "It seemed odd not to have a cab company in the city you live in," she said. "I feel exceptionally proud to live here and put a service in that I hope benefits everyone."
  Residents requiring taxi cab service can call Whaley Transport at 542-4161 or 542-2171.