Local taxi driver concerned about state regulations, ridesharing services

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- Building a small business is a challenge in itself, but Richard Retherford said it's even more difficult when some people think you no longer exist and that information spreads. But Retherford said his taxi service is here to stay.

"Now our online presence is way better than it ever was," he said.

Retherford said that's part of the formula to keep new business coming in. The Grand Haven man said he and his wife, Athena, started Rich's Taxi four years ago. He said they're filling a need while making an honest living along the lakeshore and throughout West Michigan. But he said it's been a bumpy ride as of late and that lead him to air his grievance on social media.

"While business is fairly steady, the problem that I was trying to address on Facebook was letting people know we were still here," Retherford said.

"Somebody's been going around telling everyone that there's no taxis left," he explained.

While other taxi companies have closed their doors, Rich is still in business. But he said it’s an uphill battle as he faces competition from ridesharing services like Uber, which he said aren't forced to follow the same, costly state regulations.

“Government keeps adding on all these laws and all these regulations that make no sense," Retherford said.

He hopes customers will consider those challenges when calling for their next ride.

"Shop local as much as you can because it not only helps out that small company, it helps out the community in which you live," he said.

Retherford said, "We just want to let people know that we're still here, and we're not going anywhere until they make us shut down."

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2 comments

  • Mac Woods

    “Concerned” Right……..Just like the owners of livery stables were concerned in 1910 because that crazy Henry Ford began building horseless carriages. The taxi is about five minutes away from obsolescence. Just like when the USPS launched a massive PR campaign “write a letter” with all this sentimental imagery when Email really started taking off. Maybe next, the phone company could plead with the public to keep their landlines?