Ace Cayman Nice Taxi celebrates 30 years

Ace Cayman Nice Taxi stays true to
its name by maintaining its reputation as Grand Cayman’s leading Taxi Company,
even in the current economic downturn.

This year marks the 30th year that
Ace Cayman Nice Taxi has been in business. 
Much has changed since 1980, the company’s first year in operation.

“When we started, we didn’t have
cell phones,” said owner Locksley Gould. 
“We were using dispatch radio and as time passed, we started using
digital radios and then cell phones.”

It used to be that tourists would
have a difficult time getting a hold of the taxi company.  Tourists had to have access to a land line
phone to call the company, and then the dispatch would use a Citizens’ Band
(CB) radio with only a range of one-to-five miles to contact a driver.

Richard Ebanks has been a driver
with the company for over 17 years.  He
is anticipating that the season coming up will be better for business.

“I’ve had to make adjustments,” he
said.  “But I resorted to another
job.  I’ve always felt comfortable
working with the company.”

Mr. Ebanks has known Mr. Gould for
25 years, and he considers him to be a friend as well as his employer.

“The highest respect goes out to
Mr. Gould for the upkeep of the company — so we can all have a job,” he said.

Mr. Gould says that the taxi
business is an expensive enterprise and that his company struggles to make
money.  In better times, the company had
over 60 cabs working the island.  When
Hurricane Ivan hit, it wiped out more than half of his fleet, leaving Ace Cayman
with only 20 taxis available for pick-ups.

Mr. Gould tries to maintain a
positive attitude, even if tough economic times limit his celebrations for the
30-year anniversary.

“We wanted to have a parade and
small show in town showing the talent from drivers and give out Ace awards to
long-serving drivers,” he said.  “But
with the economy like this, it won’t happen.”

He says that new drivers coming on
board would assist the company, but times are still very tough.  Ace Cayman will be forced to celebrate in
other ways.

“We wanted to give deals, but
drivers aren’t making enough money.  We
wanted to do senior discounts, but we can’t do it.  We wanted to take professional photos of the
drivers, but that is delayed,” he said. 
“We can’t even approach these things at this time due to the recession.”

Despite the dip in business, Mr.
Gould remains dedicated to providing taxi services to the island.

“I’m very proud to be able to be in
business for 30 years to serve the island,” he said.  “When you call, we’ll be there for you.”

Mr. Gould and Ace Cayman Nice Taxi
just hope that someone calls.