Graduate’s cab service looks to rival Late Night Ride

By Erin Kolb

Though he believes the free ride services available in DeKalb are important student services, recent NIU graduate Jonathan Morse has noticed a problem with their timeliness.

“A lot of people need to get around efficiently and some of the services we have in town available for free, while they’re great, they’re inefficient and burdened by a large student population,” Morse said. “A relatively inexpensive, quick personal service can be expected to do well here, I think.”

For this reason, Morse started the DeCab Taxi Service about a month and a half ago, he said. Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Morse charges $1 per student. For non-students, or riders between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., Morse charges $2 per person. For $5, Morse will drive a group of three or four anywhere within the specified part of DeKalb. Morse will also drive to Elburn for $20 and Sycamore for $10. The idea for his taxi service came to him while working another job in DeKalb.

“I was driving deliveries for pizza shops and got to know the area pretty well,” he said. “I realized a lot of students and other folks just need additional transportation. It seemed like there was a large group of people that needed help getting around.”

Morse is currently the only driver for the service, and estimates a growing average of 15 customers per day. However, he does have a plan in case his service gets too busy.

“As soon as I notice I’m becoming burdened by too many rides and am making people wait too long, I’ll probably hire another driver and get another car so people don’t have to wait,” he said. “That will be the distinction from the free service because they can’t expand when needed.”

Morse uses his own car for the service, which he has had licensed and insured to be used as a cab. Along with the ability to expand his service, Morse said another thing that makes his service unique is that since his service is local, he can usually get to a location within 5-10 minutes, unlike other services.

“Late Night Ride is probably my biggest competition, but my saving grace will be the fact that they usually take in excess of one hour to get there,” he said. “It’s a wonderful service – I’m glad it exists, and I’m sure students are as well, but I think we’re all aware that it’s overloaded with too many folks.”

For more information, contact Morse at 815-757-6430.