Cab Business is Good When Weather Gets Bad

Photographer: Levi Washburn

Lynchburg, VA-When the weather gets bad and the going gets slick, it's always a good idea to stay home and off the roads. But some people make their living by driving, and a little snow can be good for business.

Allied Cab Service in Lynchburg says Friday nights and Saturday mornings are always busy. And when you factor in the holidays and the chance for snow, a busy night turns into the perfect cab service storm.

"We're extremely busy. I'd say within a full 24 hours we'd take in over seven, 800 phone calls, somewhere like that," said Chris Douglas, an Allied Cab dispatcher.

Douglass says when bad weather comes a knockin' they're the ones who answer--the phones that is.

"Bad weather, it slows down up until the weather comes. When it comes and sticks, then that's when everybody panics, and starts calling," said Douglass.

"Cab calls to be taken to the grocery store or the bank, or just general household shopping and then they'll go back home," said Kimberly Dyke, an Allied Cabs driver.

Dyke's been driving for two years. She's seen her fair share of bad weather, and has the time sheet to prove it. Because when forecasts are frightening, drivers start making alternate plans.

"Sometimes people want to get to work and they come outside and realize, OK I don't want to drive in this snow," said Dyke.

Douglass says when people don't want to risk driving in the bad weather themselves, they call a cab. And when there's risk, Dyke says safety always comes first.

"Drive more cautious, drive slower and pay more attention to pedestrians and vehicles that may or may not know how to drive in any inclement weather," she said.

But when safety can't be guaranteed, the taxis turn off their lights and head home.

"If the buses are not running because the streets aren't clear then the cabs are parked," said Dyke.

But if the cabs are running, Dyke says, "They'll call."

And Douglas says, "People need us out here, and we've got a service to provide, and we do it."