LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Yellow Cab Company, a taxi service in Lubbock for over 50 years, is out of business.
Customers who use the service heard this voicemail when they called the company today:
"Today, Sunday October the 12th, Yellow Cab Company is going out of business. We appreciate your loyalty the past 35 years. The owner is retiring, and of this date, no one has made an offer to buy the company. We appreciate your understanding the problem and thank you for calling."
Michael Ribordy worked for Yellow Cab for about five years. He said about 30 of his coworkers are now jobless and thousands of people are left without a form of transportation.
"The entire city of Lubbock relies on us for service," he said, "and we don't have that anymore, and it's a big disappointment to me and the other drivers and managers."
Ribordy and his coworkers first heard about the issue Friday from a letter stating that Yellow Cab owner, Jim Sexton, will retire at age 82. He posted ads to sell the business on Craigslist for $125,000, but received no offers.
"He's selling it for a pretty reasonable price, too," Ribordy said. "You know, it's really shocking that it never sold."
Since Yellow Cab taxis are no longer on the road, Ribordy said he is concerned for the customers who used the service frequently.
"Someone needs to come in as quick as possible and start a new company or take over what Jim left behind," he said. "We pick up people from hospitals, we take the elderly to doctors appointments and people to dialysis."
However, Ribordy said it is not just the elderly who depended on Yellow Cab.
"Students rely on us for Safe Ride," he said. "They get a free ride from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the bar home, and now they don't have any other choice but to drive and that makes LPD's job a lot harder, and it's not safe for the citizens of Lubbock."
Chris Cook with Texas Tech said they learned of Yellow Cab's plan to close last week. He said the university immediately began evaluating the program and exploring solutions, which they are still doing at this time.
Robert Terrell, a safety coordinator for the Texas Tech University School of Art, has relied on Yellow Cab for transportation for about seven years now. He has epilepsy and prefers not to drive for the safety of himself and others.
Since he does not own a car, he called Yellow Cab this morning to take him to the grocery store and that is when he heard the message.
"It was a terrible shock," he said. "I just have no idea what I am going to do."
Just a few weeks ago, Terrell said the other taxi company in Lubbock, Checker of Texas (better known as Checker Cab), also went out of business.
He said it is unacceptable for Lubbock not to have a taxi service, and hopes the City of Lubbock will step up to this challenge.
"This is a terrible blow for me," he said, "and who knows how many people in this town."