This article appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.
by Chelsea Chappell-Cox
You can’t hail a cab with hand waving and a sharp whistle the way you can in the Big Apple, but finding a hack in Sherman and Denison is a lot easier than it was a few years ago. With the introduction of Cowboy Cab two years ago this June and Yellow Cab about eight months ago, consumers have transportation options.
A taxi driver in the Texoma area is not regulated by the city and is not required to meet testing, education minimums, or hold a Class C chauffeur license—all standards for NYC and many other cities. Riders in area Yellow Cab and Cowboy Cab can assume their driver holds a clean driving record, a valid driver’s license and no wants or warrants.
Steve Raney, owner and manager of Yellow Cab in Sherman, said, “Any place you would get in your car for is where we go.” To the doctor, dentist, grocery store, work or beyond, Yellow Cab will take you there.
Raney, a native of Sherman, saw a need for privately-owned public transportation (as opposed to TAPS, which is government funded) and decided that Yellow Cab was the ticket. The independent franchise caters to approximately 200 customers each week, using their two cars, both Toyota Corollas.
The cabs are outfitted with GPS systems and fare meters, and the company plans to add digital security cameras. Five drivers work for the local Yellow Cab franchise, two full-time, three parttime. The GPS systems won’t get much use since Raney hires only drivers who have been in the Sherman area for at least a year and are familiar with the streets.
The company also serves Denison and goes to Dallas, taking people to DFW Airport and Love Field. An airport run to DFW will cost you $120.
Jason Yergain, a full-time driver for Yellow Cab, said he will take people “anywhere,” even out of state. You can call a Yellow Cab day or night, even on holidays. Expect to wait for pick up about 15 minutes. A 15% discount is available to senior citizens and military personnel.
Yellow Cab offers other services that are not typical of taxi companies. Say you want a meal from your favorite restaurant, but they don’t deliver and you can’t leave the house. Call in your order to the restaurant, then dial Yellow Cab for door-todoor delivery. Yergain says Yellow Cab also goes grocery shopping for certain customers. “People call in with a grocery list. We go to the store, get their food and bring it to their door.” The company also transports movie reels to theaters, medical specimens to labs and prescriptions to people who can’t get to the pharmacy.
Gentry Grant, Regional Director of Cowboy Cab in Sherman, said that when he first moved here two years ago it took only one night out on the town to realize what the city was missing. After having a few beers with the boys at a local bar, Grant walked up to the bartender and asked him to call a cab. “The bartender looked at me, laughed and said, ‘There aren’t cabs in Sherman!’” He thought to himself, “With over 70,000 people in the immediate area, how are people getting safely home from bars, getting to work, dealing with broken-down cars and so on?” The next day Grant consulted with his uncle, Saied Farie, owner and founder of the original Cowboy Cab in Dallas, and decided to expand the family business.
When asked how it was to open up shop at the age of 22, Grant replied, “Well I wasn’t really nervous or anything. I worked by myself, around the clock for the first three to four months, and I starved for a while.” But with business now booming, Grant guessed that Cowboy Cab transports 100-150 riders per week. “Well, now I’m not hungry!”
Cowboy Cab has three drivers— Grant, his mom, and his cousin— who share two vehicles, a van which can hold up to seven passengers plus luggage and a sedan which holds up to four passengers and luggage. Grant also occasionally brings in an authentic London Taxi (shown in pictures above), which seats five passengers, has a built in car seat for infants and is handicapped accessible.
Cowboy Cab services Denison, Pottsboro, Van Alstyne and Bonham—and most places in between—and provides flat rate trips to DFW and Love Field. A customer once requested a ride to Arkansas, over 550 miles away, but Grant prefers to stay intrastate. Like their Yellow Cab competitor a wait for pick up can be anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Senior citizens get a 15% discount and kids under the age of twelve ride free with their parents.
Cowboy Cab (903) 868-9999 Available 24/7
Pick up fee: $2.25 + $1.75 per mile; add $2 per extra rider
Fare to DFW $115; Plano DART Rail $80
from Sherman Town Center to Midway Mall $6
Yellow Cab (903) 892-TAXI (8294) Available 24/7
Pick up fee: $2.25+$1.75 per mile; add $1 per extra person
Fare to DFW $120; Plano DART Rail $60
from Sherman Town Center to Midway Mall $6