E'S-Y Cab Rider Company
By Sam Blakeney The Traveller Safe Ride Program is a well-known system in the Washington & Lee community that allows students to safely arrive back at their dorms after a late night out. We all know the normal routine of these traveller buses: they operate on a fixed route, on only certain days of the week, beginning at 10:00 PM, and ending at 2:00 AM. For some students, particularly freshmen living on campus, the combination of the four mini-buses and three dispatch vehicles works well enough. However, for students living off campus, this current Traveller System has some serious limitations.
Fortunately, a new option has arrived in the Lexington area: a cab service known as E’S-Y Rider. Owned and operated by Eric Mason, a Lexington local, this company was launched in February 2014 and has recently taken off as a result of increased attention from W&L students as well as Rockbridge County natives. The specific market gap that Mason seeks to fill is one created by the restrictions that the Traveller bus system has placed on their routes. The primary concern of most W&L students residing off-campus is Traveller’s inability to make stops outside of a 5-mile radius of campus. Additionally, Traveller’s closing time of 2:00 AM makes returning home a difficult task for students who like to stay out later than others. Off-campus residents can now rest easy, however, as the new E’S-Y Rider taxicab service is able to transport students 24 hours a day with no range restrictions. According to Mr. Mason, his cabs have taken students to homes like Hogback and Hooterville, which far exceed the 5-mile limit of Traveller dispatch vehicles. The 24-hour policy also allows students to return home at any time of the night for a flat rate of $12.00, anywhere inside the Lexington city limits.
Many W&L students may consider the idea of paying for a cab service to be an unnecessary expense. However, when it comes down to the decision of sleeping on a friend’s couch in town or arriving safely home to your own bed, there are definite advantages to the E’S-Y Rider taxicab service. A safe ride home at the end of the night that has no range or time restrictions offers a certain peace of mind that Traveller simply cannot match. The freedom to stay out later with your friends and still be able to return to your own bed late at night is something that Traveller cannot offer to many upperclassmen, instead forcing them to end most parties around 1:30 AM. E’S-Y Rider is the answer to all of these concerns.
According to Mason, their regular clientele is split quite evenly between students and local residents, with events like Parents Weekend and Alumni Weekend having quite an impact on the business as well. Mason notes, however, that E’S-Y Rider’s student following is quite specific and does not see many new faces. He assumes this is due to the student body’s lack of familiarity with the business and he hopes that some big company changes in the future will be able to attract fresh groups of students.
One particular change that Mason is excited about is the upcoming purchase of a mini-bus similar to those of the Traveller program. Mason indicated that this bus would be able to be rented and would serve fraternity events occurring at houses outside the normal, fixed routes of Traveller or for far off-campus locations. Currently, these Traveller buses are the only option for fraternities looking to transport larger groups to and from off-campus locations. However, the implementation of E’S-Y Rider’s new mini-bus system will hopefully stimulate a bit of competition between the two programs.
The arrival of a new transportation option in Lexington should come as a great relief to many upperclassmen. The fear of being stranded after a late party or the inconvenience of sleeping on a couch in town will be problems of the past. I encourage you to take advantage of this new opportunity and look into the possibility of utilizing the E’S-Y Rider taxicab service in the future.