• 57°

Mid-County Taxi comes to Nederland

Tarver hopes to fill void in Mid- & South County

NEDERLAND —Mike Tarver is kicking retirement to the curb to help Mid- and South Jefferson County residents get off the streets — and into his taxi.

The founder and owner of Mid-County Taxi started taking fares and transporting Southeast Texans this week after Nederland City Council approved his permit application Monday night.

Tarver — a Nederland resident operating the city’s first cab service in more than 20 years — said he’s thought of all sorts of situations in which a resident or visitor might need a cab in the city, but the most crucial is driving while intoxicated.

“It says it right there on my taxis, ‘Don’t DWI.’ A big goal of mine is to cut down on DWI accidents, injuries and deaths,” Tarver, 64 and a retired U.S. Postal Service worker, said at his home Friday morning. “And I’m no saint either — we all think we’re invincible when we’re young. But there’s no reason to put other people or yourself in danger like that. If you want a worry-free night out or if you’re already out and realize you’ve had too many, please call me. Call Mid-County Taxi.

“But I’m for everybody — the whole community — and I’ve thought of all the angles,” Tarver added, smiling. “Before I got full approval Monday, I was already talking with car rental shops, body shops, doctors’ offices, retailers, athletic and recreation offices, the bars and clubs — everyone I could think of to let them know I was working on this. Now that I’m approved, I’ve let all those businesses know and I’ve set up appointments with many more to visit next week.”

Mike Tarver, 64, poses with one of his Mid-County Taxi vans outside his Nederland home Friday morning.

Mike Tarver, 64, poses with one of his Mid-County Taxi vans outside his Nederland home Friday morning.

Tarver said he’s already taken several fares driving people to and from work and appointments, home from a night out at the bars, and even a trip to Galveston and back Thursday night.

“I really want to be here for the community, because this is a service we haven’t had for several years. I’m an old Bulldog,” Tarver said, laughing, “and I remember the old taxi service we had back in the ’70s and ’80s. I remember it coming to bring us to and from the plants when I worked at Texaco. I remember having an option for temporary transportation when my car broke down. I remember having a safe way home if I ever wanted a night out.

“I want to be an asset to all the community, because this is a service we need. I’m trying to hire disabled people, disabled veterans — because you can be fairly handicapped and still drive a taxi or work as a dispatcher. Mayor (Richard “Dick”) Nugent mentioned wheelchair-accessible taxicabs during the meeting the other night, and I made a promise to him. The next cab I buy will have easy wheelchair access. I want this to be for all the community, just like it used to be — maybe even a little better.”

Tarver said he has an appointment with the Port Arthur City Council on Tuesday and has already started submitting paperwork to the Port Neches and Groves city councils in an effort to bring Mid-County Taxi to all of Mid- and South County.

“I’m not going to say it’s a shoo-in, but I feel confident about it,” he said. “I’ve been working with their cities and police chiefs, and everything’s been going well.”

Tarver said Mid-County Taxi consists of himself, two other drivers and a dispatcher. Mid-County Taxi is available all hours, seven days a week.

For more information, call Mid-County Taxi at (409) 332-0808.

Twitter: @crhenderson90