Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Remember Claude Davis Taxi in Tamaqua - Just When You Though it was Safe to get back in a Cab

- From The Pottsville Republican

Yet another taxi service wants to run the meter in Schuylkill County.
Pottsville native Claude M. Davis Jr. is making arrangements to start up Charlie's Yellow Cab & Charlie's Transportation, with offices in Pottsville and Mount Carmel.

"I understand the older people and the needs of the public and the public needs a transportation system that's 24/7 that is not afraid to go anywhere, from the airports to the late calls at the bars at night," said Davis, 58, who resides in Palatine, Ill.

Davis first announced his intentions in a December 2002 article in The REPUBLICAN & Herald, but problems slowed him down.

"There was a little medical problem I ran into," Davis said Tuesday.

He intends to run cab service from Hamburg, Berks County, through Schuylkill County and into Northumberland County, according to the application he intends to submit to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

"He was told that he needs to register the factious name 'Charlie's Yellow Cab' with the Pa. Department of State first, before he applies for PUC authority," said PUC Public Relations Representative Cindy L. Page.

"That's all done," Davis said. "I'm obtaining an attorney locally."

Davis is planning to have a fleet of at least 20 cars and at least five buses that are handicap accessible. He's also planning to run the service 24 hours a day.

"A cab service has to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Davis said. "I'm going to hire drivers, a dispatcher, an auto mechanic. It's going to be a first-class operation."

Meanwhile, a branch of the Yellow Cab Company of Shamokin, called Black Diamond Cab Company Inc., is aiming to open a Shenandoah office this spring, according to Shamokin Yellow Cab President Ernest J. Delbo.

"Everything is in the works right now," said attorney Hugh A. Jones, Sunbury, who represents Shamokin Yellow Cab. "The holdup was the incorporation of Black Diamond Cab."

"He is working with the PUC and is in the process of obtaining authority for Black Diamond Cab," said Page.

Currently, there is only one other cab service based in Schuylkill County, Faust Taxi Service, Pottsville.

Born in Pottsville, Feb. 28, 1948, Davis grew up on Second Street and his father Charles "Rabbits" Davis was a cab driver for the former Pottsville Cab Company.

Around the time Pottsville Cab became Towne Cab, Davis began working for them as a driver.

He attended Pottsville Area High School, but he received his high school degree while serving in the Marines. He served in the military for four years and was honorably discharged as an E-4.

"When I came out, I bought People's Taxi in Tamaqua," Davis said. His two-taxi business there opened April 24, 1974, and closed in 1980.

That year, Davis moved away and worked for cab companies in states including Florida and South Carolina. He also got involved in professional boxing under the name Muhammad Stafu Davis.

"I had 27 pro fights," he said.

Today, Davis runs A Champ's Yellow Cab and Limousine, White Horse Limousine and Mike's Limousine in the Chicago area.

Davis has a son, Claude M. Davis III, Cressona, and a daughter, Tracey Ann Davis, Cressona, owner of Davis Photos.

"I made a promise to my father that I would come and bring the family business back," Davis said. "I'm going after the cab rights and I know I can get them."

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