A McAlester taxi service expanded its fleet — and is planning to expand into two more cities soon.
Rover Taxi in McAlester added two Nissan Leaf cars to bring is fleet to eight and is looking to expand into two more cities hopefully within the next year.
“McAlester’s’ been really good to us so we want to keep going and take care of this area,” said Kenny Hall, a part owner.
Rover Taxi started in 2019 and struggled early in the COVID-19 pandemic before rebounding last summer to add four Nissan Leaf vehicles in serving 60-80 daily customers at that time.
Now the service is looking to add more to its 15-driver staff in McAlester after getting about 180 daily customers.
“It’s more than we thought would ever be in McAlester,” Hall said with a chuckle.
Customers schedule rides for a variety of things — they get groceries, they get to work, they visit friends and family, and more. The services aims to stay within a 250-mile radius from McAlester, with some customers needing to travel to Tulsa, Dallas, Oklahoma City and other places.
Owners said the Nissan Leaf cars offer more storage space and better mileage to help Rover Taxi provide a better service for customers.
Last year’ vehicles came in red, white, blue and black, while the newest fleet additions are grey and white all with electric charges in the front. Each vehicle will be outfitted with cameras and a Rover Taxi wrap.
The vehicle expansion led the owners to number the vehicles after previously relying on car colors. Owners said the numbering system will help as they continue expansion plans.
Hall said Rover Taxi will complete licensing, insurance and “all the stuff that makes it legal to be on the road as a taxi” so the vehicles can be in the rotation by Nov. 1.
“But they’re good to go,” co-owner Greg Dunn said of the vehicles’ mechanics.
Hall said the owner group is thankful for community support and is pleasantly surprised at how quickly the business took off after just three years.
Rover Taxi owners said they hope to add expansion locations in Durant and Ada within a year while keeping headquarters in McAlester.
“That’s all in the works,” Hall said. “We don’t have any dates yet, but we’re looking at expanding into multiple cities.
“It’s going to happen, we just don’t know when yet,” he said, adding that the owner group hopes to continue expanding beyond that.
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