Saturday, September 20, 2003

Miami University students' Uptown Taxi service hailed

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 to the bus stop, let alone all the way to High Street on a Saturday night.

Adam Hirsen, a junior accounting major, and Bryan Rood, a fifth-year communications major, this week opened 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 appreciates their entrepreneurship.

"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 passed out business cards to students 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 alone.

"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.

Student response is 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, and $3 for an Uptown Taxi cardholder ride.

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