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New taxi service hits the street

Need a ride? There's a new taxi service in Detroit Lakes that offers competitive rates and extended hours of operation.

DL Taxi Service is owned by Rob and Roxanne Fairbanks of Detroit Lakes.

The couple run six-passenger vans -- a 2001 Chrysler and a 2004 Ford -- out of their home, and bring an upbeat attitude and a focus on customer service to their new business, which opened earlier this month.

They accept fares from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

They also specialize in rides to Hector International Airport in Fargo, offering the service from Detroit Lakes for a flat $60 fee.

"That will save them money on long-term parking at Hector," Rob says.

They can also provide rides to wedding parties, keeping everybody together, safe and ticket-free.

"It doesn't take much to get a DWI these days," Rob said. "We do it so somebody in your wedding party doesn't get a ticket and ruin the wedding day."

Rob said he got the idea for starting a tax service several years ago.

Roxanne, who did day care at the time, had a client who had to spend about $20 of her $75 daily income on taxi service to work and daycare.

Back then, Rob just started giving her a ride to work and back with his own car to be neighborly, but it started him thinking, and this year the couple took the plunge, took out a loan, got insurance, obtained a cab license from the city, and started their own business.

The Fairbanks' are using cell phones to take customer calls, so keep trying if you have trouble getting through the first time. And they are emphasizing customer service, so fares are on a first-come, first-served basis. If several people decide they want to get in on a cab ride, the original customer makes the call on how they want to handle it, Rob said.

Planning a night out? Make sure you have cash for the cab. DL Taxi service isn't geared up to accept credit or debit cards, so cash is preferred.

"Our rates are very competitive," he said.

Roxanne will continue to work at M&H convenience store and help Rob out when she can. Down the road, the couple may find a another driver -- who must pass a criminal background check and has a clean driving record -- to lease one of their vans so they can take time off for a vacation, or to provide more service coverage during busy times.

The phone number for DL Taxi Service is 234-1192 or 234-6252.