Brownsville Taxi Driver Sees Increase in Service
BROWNSVILLE – Although transportation services in the Rio Grande Valley are limited, many people are seeing an increase in its demand.
As the holiday season nears, authorities urge people to find a designated driver if they intend to go out drinking.
Arnulfo Garza is the owner of a popular Brownsville night club. He said he’s been in the night scene business for 20 years, and has had plenty of practice in persuading intoxicated customers to drop their keys.
“We do help them in getting home or calling somebody for them. We always call a cab. We do have security at the door to check people on the way out… We’ve driven them home ourselves,” he said.
When that doesn’t work, Garza said a friendly reminder that cops are on the lookout for drunk drivers works.
“A lot of people are scared to go out and drive when they are drinking, because I mean DWI’s are expensive and I’m sure nobody wants one,” he said.
Florentino Izaguirre is a driver and owner of ABC Taxis in Brownsville. He said there’s been more demand from club and bar goers in the last 15 years, especially from women.
“Women are more responsible than men. They’ll call for a taxi, they don’t want to drive their car,” he said.
The taxi driver said he and four other coworkers respond to up to 80 calls each day during the week. On the weekends, even though the volume of calls is around 30, the majority of them are from people at night clubs or bars.
Izaguirre said some people don’t want to pay the $15 to $30 that it may cost them to get home.
“How much does a DWI cost someone? Right now, they pay about $4,000 to $5,000 for a DWI. What’s paying just $20 or $30?” he said.
There are currently no transportation services in the Valley like some popular app based companies in bigger cities. Izaguirre said he expects that to change in the coming two to three years.
Garza said he welcomes the change which can mean more business.
“When people don’t want to go out, it makes it difficult for us. They’d rather stay home and drink,” he said. “So if there was a service, it would be a lot easier for everybody else.”
Izaguirre said a city ordinance does not allow taxi’s to park near bars or night clubs. The Brownsville Police Department said they had 440 DWI arrest in 2015.
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