By Aaron Johnson
The Cincinnati Enquirer
OXFORD - Uptown Oxford will no longer be such a steep climb for Miami University students who would rather not hoof it all the way to High Street on a Saturday night.
Adam Hirsen, a junior accounting major, and Bryan Rood, a fifth-year communications major, are preparing their fleet of SUVs for the opening tonight of their first business venture, Uptown Taxi.
"We felt that it was pretty apparent that Oxford needed a taxi service, and it's an idea that we have been considering for a while," said Hirsen.
Miami University business professor Jeff June, who has begun many business ventures himself, thinks their business has the elements to prosper.
"If they're a group of hard-working individuals who are committed to doing it, I think it should be interesting to see where it goes," said June.
Hirsen and Rood have put time and effort into the start-up process since the conception of the business in June.
They spent freshman move-in week passing out business cards and have teamed up with local bars to advertise to their primary market, the late-night bar scene.
Patrons can use a pre-paid swipe card system, to which they can add money via the Internet.
The startup cost of the new business has been substantial - $10,000 to $12,000 for insurance, business licenses and office supplies. It's not clear when, or if, the students will turn a profit.
"It's a huge risk, but at the same time it's something that if we're going to take a risk (at doing) we wanted to do it now while we're still in school and had some money to play with," said Rood.
June said: "I wouldn't really say that the odds are against them greatly, but if they fail, I don't necessarily think that that's a bad thing. It's admirable that students are taking the initiative to start businesses."
Student response around campus has been positive.
"I think it would be a good idea," student Jerry Ficus said while dining at Skippers Pub, an uptown bar.
"I'm sure it would get used," added his roommate, Brett Lindstrom. "And I think that it would be a big moneymaker."
The costs: $4 for a single rider, $5 for a multi-person ride (as many as can fit), and $3 for an Uptown Taxi cardholder ride (as many as can fit).
Fifth accused priest identified
Forged money traced to MU
St. X scores with 28 merit semifinalists
Man found dead in SUV in pond
IN THE TRISTATE
Police find pot stash after watching sales on street
Candidate forum focuses on safety, neighborhoods
His task: Help city develop
Ethics training part of new plan
Calling all teachers
I-75 talk all about high cost
Ohio's Innocence Project takes first cases
Open season in Delhi Township trustee race
Teen's conviction in death reversed
Pulfer: Top ratings for a different kind of radio program
Howard: Good Things Happening
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Miami U. students start taxi service
Kids rise early to pray
W. Nile sickens local woman
Jury trial will delay custody decision
Lebanon levy renewal for buildings
Family Violence Unit formed
Music legend 'Dumpy' Rice, 64
Potential nerve-gas handler pays EPA fine
Deal near on Ohio drug discount plan
Florence step closer to its own ballpark
Kenton County to roll out hot line
Politicians woo seniors at annual picnic
Rural counties tout growth
2 mothers fined for truancy
Kentucky News Briefs