Dave Olson, Published May 26 2012
Accelerating demand: Taxi service owner hopes to respond to growing need for rides in F-M area
The demand for taxis is great, he said, citing the number of calls GoCab gets from both sides of the Red River, particularly on weekends after the bars have closed.
But because GoCab is still in the process of getting its license to operate in Fargo, Obebeduo said he has to say no to potential business on that side of the river.
“There is a huge need for taxi companies,” said Obebeduo, whose GoCab is now one of three cab companies working in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The other two are Doyle Yellow Checker Cab and Lucky 7.
Neither company responded to requests for comment for this story.
Obebeduo said many people calling from bars report the waiting time for taxis can be more than an hour.
“They get frustrated, and they get in their cars and drive, and you can see why the DUI rate is through the roof,” Obebeduo said.
Fargo Police Lt. Joel Vettel said it is hard to gauge the impact increased taxi services have on DUI numbers, but he said providing options for would-be impaired drivers is potentially beneficial.
“We can’t make an assumption we’d see a reduction in DUIs just because we had an increase in the amount of taxi services,” Vettel said, “but we certainly support more options for folks in getting rides home that prevent people from driving under the influence.”
Obebeduo runs GoCab out of his home at 1585 43rd Ave. S. in Moorhead, a situation allowed for under Moorhead’s rules, city officials said.
A public hearing on GoCab’s request for a taxi license in Fargo is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall.
Obebeduo goes by Brume as his first name, but that is actually his middle name.
He said he uses Brume because his first name, Aghogho, is difficult to pronounce.
“It’s hard for me to say myself,” said Obebeduo, whose family has long been in the cab business.
“My father owned a taxi company in Africa while I was growing up. My brother manages that company, and my sister has her own taxi company as well,” said Obebeduo, who moved from Nigeria to the United States in 2005 to attend Concordia College.
He graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2009.
Obebeduo has a number of drivers who work for him. While his duties mostly have to do with dispatching, he said he gets behind the wheel himself once in a while.
He has three cabs and is in the process of getting more.
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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555