Taxi Stands Adjust to High Prices

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COLUMBIA - No matter how high gas prices reach, Taxi Terry's will always need to fill up the tank.

President Terry Nickerson, who said his eight-car fleet refills about twice a day, raised prices three weeks ago to compensate for lost revenue. The company added a one-dollar surcharge to all cash and credit card fares.

"It's stunted our growth," Nickerson said. "Gas is one of our biggest expenses. And so it's the American Way, whenever prices go up--to provide the service-- you have to pass it along to the consumer."

The high price of oil has also put a stop to a few of Nickerson's long-term projects for now. For example, Nickerson said his company cannot add cars to its fleet, which Nickerson said does not adequately cover a city of Columbia's size.

Nickerson's main project-- adding a wheelchair-accessible cab-- also will not materialize until gas prices fall.

"We had planned to have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle by now," Nickerson said. "There's a need for a reliable, dependable wheelchair-accessible company in town... That's a big disappointment."

Nickerson said his company prepared for potential price hikes in gas when it opened about two years ago. According to him, Taxi Terry's will eventually add a wheelchair-accessible car, but the delay still stings.

"Any time you set goals and plans you fall short of them, it's a big disappointment. But you just have to get up and dust yourself off... We're not going out of businsess," Nickerson said. "We're gonna be OK."