One northern valley town has found the financial key to grow a service that many small towns lack: a taxi service.
Ampride, a Crookston convenience store has added a taxi to its list of services and it's turning into a hit.
For years, taxi companies came and went in Crookston. There just didn't seem to be enough riders to make it financially feasible. But now, after just starting its taxi service a few months ago, Ampride convenience store had over 11-hundred riders last month at a flat rate of six-bucks a ride in town.
Wayne Melbe, Ampride: "In the afternoons it's therapy appointments and that type of thing. Then in the evening it's the younger folks. They move around town, visit their friends, this and that."
Melbe says their taxi is not only delivering people, but food from their deli as well. If folks place an order of $15 or more, there's only a one-dollar and fifty cents delivery charge.
Wayne Melbe: "Guys working overnight at Dee and New Flyer have found that it's kind of fun to have regular fresh food at night. Plus, sometimes somebody wants a ride home… they'll order a pizza too."
Melbe says the taxi service alone isn't a big money maker for them. But, it has meant a big increase in their deli sales. And folks like Jean Sawyer, who's never owned a car can get a ride whenever she needs one.
Jean Sawyer, Crookston: "I use it to buy groceries and they load it up in their truck for me and load it up in the car when I get home."
Reporter: "And no car payment?"
It appears to be a winning combination of services that now can provide rides for those who need one… 24-7.
Melbe says the service is going so well, he's considering adding a second taxi.
The debate is getting even more heated over the new Edgewood Estates development proposal. Wednesday night neighbors had the opportunity to really speak their mind.