Taxi drivers

Cody Taxi Drivers Satisfied with Tipsy Taxi Ride

CODY (WNE) — Ron Clark, owner of Town Taxi, said he’d rather take someone home for free than see them driving drunk.

However, he would much rather be paid at least as much as he would charge someone on a normal flat rate.

Now he and other taxi companies that use the City of Cody’s Tipsy Taxi service will be paid $3 more than before every time they drive home someone who has a voucher.

Since its inception, the service has paid the taxi company $7 every time someone used one of the vouchers to get home for free after drinking. Last week, city council unanimously approved paying taxi companies $10 per voucher effective Jan. 1 retroactively.

“I charge $8 each way, so I was wasting money,” Clark said. “It will help a lot.”

On average, approximately 16 retail or restaurant liquor licensees participate by issuing vouchers to eligible customers.

Those who are impaired are entitled to a free ride home and are driven from a participating bar or restaurant to a residence or hotel within the city limits.

“It’s a great benefit to the community,” said Cody Cab manager Earl “Mike” Farlow. “It prevents people from driving when they’ve been drinking.”

He said the company has been participating in the program since its inception in 2011. He now charges a flat rate of $9 for rides around town, so the voucher won’t ultimately be a loss for him either.

“It would benefit us a lot,” he said. “This is a program that greatly benefits our citizens here.”

Clark said he averages about 30 to 35 uses of the voucher per month. He said in the summer that usage can go up to 50 vouchers in a month.

This story was published on January 31, 2022.