Students' local taxi experiences range from good to bad to unusual
A weekend in Mount Pleasant would not be complete without the sight of taxis running from one end of town to the other.
Varying from smaller cars to larger vans, students both on and off-campus use local taxis as transportation for errands and social outings. A simple search on yellowpages.com indicates at least seven different taxi companies provide services in the Mount Pleasant area.
The common use of taxis to head home after a late night out can lead to unexpected situations.
Detroit junior Teonna Gary said not everyone is lively in a taxi.
"I once saw a guy passed out in a taxi," she said. "There was vomit everywhere."
She said she also saw a student hauled out of a taxi and left for someone to pick him up outside the Towers residence halls.
"Being in a taxi is kind of like a party bus before you get to your party, if you get in with friends," Gary said.
For Grayling junior John Lennon, a memorable ride occurred this past spring when his group of friends was one too many for the car that showed up.
"It was a five-seat Saturn driven by a guy named Ted," Lennon said. "While trying to fit everyone in the car, he made one of us lay across the laps of the rest of us in the back seat."
Lennon said the ride continued its memorable streak as the driver took a roundabout way back to campus in order to strike up conversation.
“This seemed fairly odd, but none of us really cared, we just wanted to get back,” Lennon said. “Ted just wanted to hear about our night, though, so he kept driving. Finally, we reminded him of why we called him in the first place and he decided to drop us off.”
In some cases, however, calling a taxi turns from an unusual experience to a negative one.
Lansing senior Tyler Wippel’s experience took such a turn freshman year when he called a taxi to take him and his girlfriend out to see a movie.
“I called an entire day early to go, and it seemed like everything was set up,” Wippel said. “So the next night my girlfriend and I waited in Larzelere’s lobby. And waited. And waited.”
Wippel said the taxi did not arrive until approximately 7:40 p.m., 40 minutes after the arranged pick-up time.
“That alone was fairly astounding to me. I scheduled early,” Wippel said.
The late timing was not the only negative aspect Wippel noticed about the ride.
“When (the driver) pulled into the parking lot, the meter said one thing,” Wippel said. “For whatever reason, he decided to pull all the way around the parking lot and the meter kicked up a dollar. And he asked for that amount of fare. Now, I’m not saying the dollar is a lot, but it is incredibly rude that because of his driving decision, I would not be offered to take off the fare.”
But not everyone has negative stories to tell from their taxi rides.
When Davison junior Roxanne Harris called a taxi to return to Herrig Hall after grocery shopping at Kmart one evening, the driver went beyond the expected to help out.
“When I got in the van he said, ‘Hey, I notice you have a lot of stuff there,’” Harris said. “I told him I lived on the third floor in the dorm, so when we got there, he helped me carry all the bags to my room. It was great since it was definitely not a one-person job.”