Lawrence residents have another taxi service and its cabs won't be difficult to spot: They'll be the illuminated cars with sound systems not unlike those the taxi riders may have encountered in bars earlier in the evening.
Redycab, the brainchild of the Redy 2 Party Bus founder Tim Herrod, hit the streets midway through last month in hopes of cutting down post-bar wait times while adding a little color to Lawrence’s taxi scene.
Among the service’s drivers is Randall Barnes, a veteran local driver who last drove for Jayhawk Taxi.
Barnes said that wait times for taxis in the city recently had begun to hover around one to two hours during busy hours such as the mornings of Kansas University football games or in the early morning weekend hours just after bar closing.
It was the latter crowd that concerned Barnes.
“A lot of people don’t want to wait two hours and will choose to drive,” Barnes said. “We want to make a dent in wait times.”
Barnes said that, so far, Redycab’s wait times had not often exceeded 30 minutes. The service, which has an $8 fare with an additional $1.50 for each additional passenger, is outfitted like Herrod’s party buses. Neon lights run underneath the vehicle and a stereo system filters music through the cab for those who “just came out of a club playing music with heavy bass and want to keep that going,” Barnes said.
Herrod could not be reached for comment.
The city’s westward expansion has made additional taxi services necessary, Barnes said, noting that the rise in apartment complexes on the west side of town in recent years and beyond walking distance from many of the city’s bars.
Redycab has also served senior citizens who need rides to a grocery store or doctor. Redycab may soon look into working with places like the Douglas County Jail, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and area homeless shelters to sell vouchers for residents or patrons who need transportation but can't afford it.
“We just want to make sure everybody in all aspects of life are taken care of,” Barnes said.
The service can be reached at 505-8294 and is available 24 hours, seven days a week.