Veterans Cab of Brighton/Brighton Taxi has been operating for more than a month now and has seen steady growth, despite initial setbacks caused by rival taxi services and internal conflict.
Brighton Taxi opened for business April 16 after two years of planning. The taxi service, whose office is at 737 S. Main St., runs to Hudson, Fort Lupton, Lochbuie and Brighton and is owned by five investors who live in Brighton.
Brighton Taxi ran into problems with existing taxi companies while working with the Public Utilities Commission to designate their territory for cab service, according to Morgan Pearson, chief operating officer.
According to public documents taken from the PUC website, MKBS, which operates Metro Taxi, Taxis Fiesta and South Suburban Taxi, filed an intervention April 28 along with Colorado Cab Co., who operates Boulder Yellow Cab and Shamrock Taxi of Fort Collins.
Two of the areas that Brighton Taxi attempted to service were Dacono and Frederick, according to Pearson.
“The remaining taxis around us actually interfered and said we need to cut back our radius or (they would) continue to interfere,” Pearson said. “Being a small company, we don’t have the million dollar lawyers that they do. We brought it back to these four cities that were provable that they can’t service.”
She added that “nobody’s going to come up here for an hour just to take a five-minute trip.”
As the first interested investors collaborated to create a business model and research the necessary requirements, trouble began to brew.
One of the interested parties wanted to run Brighton Taxi and his company together as sister companies. The problem led to disputes and legal battles between the investors and the man, whom Pearson refused to name or give details about due to non-disclosure agreements. The ties between Brighton Taxi and the other business owner were permanently severed after litigations and lawsuits ensued.
According to public document filed on the PUC website, the “former employee has refused to return necessary files and information, including a computer that contains pertinent information.”
“It was just a complete disaster,” Pearson said.
Pearson was hired after this occurred and took over the position previously held by the unnamed individual.
“Because of that, people think that we’re corporate and that’s just not how it is,” Pearson said. “We do business here. We want to keep business here. This is for Brighton. We’re not Metro who came in and is giving all the money back to Denver—nothing like that.”
All of the investors, cab drivers and Pearson live in Brighton. The idea originated in 2009 when J.B Terrel and Michelle Gonzalez, both part- owners, wanted to create a cab service to help seniors and veterans with limited mobility.
“It was amazing for me to see it finally happening,” Gonzalez said.
Despite the issues that arose in the beginning stages, the company is beginning to gain revenue back that was needed to start the company and is looking to add a third vehicle for cab service in the coming months due to demand. They currently run a Kia Sedona and Ford Windstar, both mini-vans. The cab service is PUC licensed to run up to five vehicles, and the vehicles are fully insured. Although Brighton Taxi is limited to pickup in four areas, the cabs can take patrons nearly anywhere. The number is 303-685-8294.
Pearson, 22, has been excited to see the business come to fruition.
“To tell you the truth, it’s grown a lot more than I thought it would.”
By Paul Zastrocky