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Put-in-Bay Taxi Service

What You Need To Know About Taxi Service On The Island!

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Put-in-Bay Taxi Service At Your Service!

Put-in-Bay Taxi Services 419-285-2667


Your Put-in-Bay Taxi Service Anywhere on the Island $4.00

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service is offered by Coop’s Cabs and is focused more than ever on providing quality taxi and shuttle services for the Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island area. They are pleased to offer you the impeccable service that they’re known for and hope to continue delivering satisfactory service to their valued Put-in-Bay customers.

Coop’s Cabs Offers The Islands Newest Late Model Put-in-Bay Taxis

Coop’s Cab provides a wide range of transportation services, including corporate transportation, ferry shuttle services, and bar/hotel/pool-hopping services in the downtown Put-in-Bay area.

Photo of Put-in-Bay Taxi Service from coops cabs

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With very limited parking (who wants to pave over paradise?) We use Golf Cart Rentals To Travel The Island! Be sure to reserve your golf cart rentals online before arriving by clicking here:

Taxi Service At Put-in-Bay & The Lake Erie Area

Our Taxi Service Offers:


  • Airport transfers – from the Put-in-Bay airport to your hotel.
  • Corporate shuttle service and group rental.
  • Bar hopping for weddings, bachelor parties, and bachelorette parties.
  • Put-in-Bay ferry transport.
  • General rental & sightseeing
  • Late night Put-in-Bay pizza shuttle.
  • Vans that seat up to 12.

Coop’s Cab will accommodate all your ground transportation needs, whether you require shuttle buses for a large group, a door-to-door service for a small group, a wedding party limousine, or a ferry boat shuttle service for one.

Coop’s Cab is the Put in Bay Taxi service that caters to your every need with professional drivers and clean, comfortable vans and bubble tops. The newest fleet on the island, Coop’s Cab, features late-model passenger vans with Air Conditioning and all the modern safety features and comforts. Your schedule is our schedule! One call to plan it all 419-285-2667

Photo of Put-in-Bay Fishing Charters
Photo Of Fishing Charters At Put-in-Bay

Corporate Shuttle Taxi Service

Their corporate shuttle services provide transportation for large group conventions, tours, and corporate outings. Whether you are just coming from or to the ferry or need a ride down to your fishing charter, Put-in-Bay Taxis is here to service your group.

Meeting Your Transportation Needs

No matter your transportation needs in the South Bass Island area, whether they be a wedding party limo, corporate shuttle service, shuttle for a night on the town, or a van for an airport transfer, Coop’s Cab Put in Bay Taxi service will get you where you’re going, and do so in a relaxed, fun, professional manner. Our experienced drivers have a flawless safety record, and our vans are modern and the island’s newest fleet.

We Accept All Major Credit Cards – $4.00 Fare anywhere On The Island 419-285-2667

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service History

One afternoon this past month, forty people gathered at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall for a public hearing with Put-in-Bay Village Council concerning the number of taxis that should be licensed to operate on the island. Taxi company owners, taxi drivers, and any interested parties spoke. The sworn testimony covered everything from the number of taxis on the road to having unlimited taxis on the island. Currently, the Village ordinance allows for 36 taxis to be licensed.

This public hearing was interesting, to say the least, but it reminded us that there is a rich history of taxis on the island, one that makes us again wonder if the past taxi service or today’s taxi service is better.

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service – THE BEGINNING

The Hotel Victory was located where the South Bass State Park is now. On the way to the hotel, you could disembark from one of the many steamers and catch a trolly that passed the island’s biggest attractions, the caves and Heineman Winery. When the hotel burned in 1919, there was no longer a trolley, but the need to get people out to the caves and winery probably spurred the birth of put in bay taxi service on South Bass Island.

There were no runs to the Lime Kiln Dock simply because there was no ferry service. It was simply the end of the island. Like visitors of today, visitors then wanted to see the island. One of the big draws for the taxis was tours of the island. Remember, there were no tour train or golf cart rentals then, plus bicycling the dirt roads was not for everyone. We don’t know who decided to start driving a taxi on the island, but whoever it saw the need and started his engine, which has continued to this day.

Taxi Service And The 1920s & PROHIBITION

One of the earliest photos of taxis is one taken out by Mammoth Cave and Heineman Winery. All the taxis and drivers are parked for one of Otto Herbster’s panoramic photos. The one on this page shows the taxis lined up on Delaware Ave. by the old Colonial building. From the look of the dress and Model T-like taxis, we suspect the photo was taken in the 1920s.

During Prohibition, one taxi company owner, Fred Cooper, used his cab to haul passengers and procure customers who he would take to his home on Mitchell Rd. where they could purchase adult beverages made from the fruit from his vineyard. Fred’s son, Gus, was the last Cooper to own Cooper’s Restaurant, which islanders now know as the Goat Soup & Whiskey. The house on Mitchell Rd still stands and is the home of Capt. Russ and Lisa Brohl still tend several rows of grapevines from which bootleg wine was once made.

Taxi Service In The 1930s & 1940s

Moving forward to the 1930s and 1940s, things got a little fancier. The cab companies stepped it up a bit with big, open convertibles. These are the big classic cars collectors pay tens of thousands of dollars for today. You could pile a lot of riders into one of these land boats. The ride from downtown to the caves was 10¢, or in today’s money, just under $2. The names of driver/owners Walt Smith and Billy Adams, who ran cabs in the 1930s and 1940s, are still heard to this day when islanders reminisce about the good old days.

We can only imagine the cabs lined up at the steamer dock when one of the big lake boats pulled in and discharged hundreds of passengers. Remember, these were still the days when bikes and popular tandem bicycles could be rented to pedal around, but there were still no  Put-in-Bay Golf Carts, mopeds, and other accessible transportation. Larry Reinhard, the brother of the late Norma Wasson from East Point, ran cabs in the 1940s after the war. One of his drivers was Tom Lunt, who later owned Stonehenge.

Taxi Service  In The  1950s

Larry ended up selling out to Bob Ladd, the father of Paul, Chris, and Shawn Ladd, several years after World War II. Among Bob’s drivers were his brother, John Ladd, and Mark Barnhill, who spent their summer vacations earning money to attend Bowling Green State University. John said island tours for $4 were popular. He also told how one of Bob’s passengers was the infamous Sam Sheppard, who made headlines in Cleveland over his wife’s controversial murder. As the steamer age ended, there was still a need for a taxi service.

The last of the big open limo cabs started disappearing, only to be replaced by more modern post-war vehicles. Riders could still pile in and ride seated on the top of the retracted convertible top with their feet nestled between fellow passengers sitting in the back seat. It may not have been the most comfortable, but it was exciting and fun, to say the least. Remember, back then; you didn’t have to buckle up or be as concerned about your safety as we are today.

Shortly after Mack McCann graduated from high school in 1954, he started a taxi company associated with the Park Hotel. One of his drivers was Jim Tobin, who drove the company’s substantial red 1953 Packard convertible. The business only lasted a couple of summers until Mack went to work for Lee Miller on the ferry. However, he drove the Packard for the next ten years until he got rid of it. On his 60th birthday, Mack was presented with a restored red 1953 Packard convertible which he still has on the island.

Taxi Service In the 1960s & 1970s

Mac McCluskey was running Mac’s Cabs in the early 1960s. His home was the Delwood on East Point (the former group home). One of the memorable vehicles in his fleet was a red Cadillac convertible from the late 1940s. Every time Mac’s cars broke down, he’d show up at Parker’s Garage, hoping Joe would drop everything and fix what was wrong so he could get back on the road to make a buck.

Mac’s competition was Smiley’s Cabs which had two brown 1960 Chevy Impala convertibles. Bill Timmerman and Bob Stone, aka the “Cargo Net Boys,” bought out Smiley when they owned the Victory Park Resort and before they bought out Ken & Greta’s, the souvenir shop downtown next to Frosty Bar. They had Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth convertibles which were driven by drivers dressed in red shirts with Victory Cab printed on them. Lee Miller, the owner of Miller Boat Line, was so impressed with how they looked and operated that he had a special pick-up lane at the Lime Kiln for them. The cabs were part of the deal when they sold the Victory Park Resort to the Starnes.

About 1977, Matt Parker, now the dockmaster for Miller Boat Line at Catawba, and David Bianchi, now also works for Miller Boat Line, partnered up to run Rock Cab. They used a 1964 4-door Buick Electra and a 1959 Mercury to haul passengers anywhere on the island for a dollar per head. Matt said a bad day was $45, but their highest was about $350, except for one day when Skip closed up bus service to the Lime Kiln early. Matt says he raked in $720 from one cab that day. That’s the equivalent of $3200 today. A couple of the Rock Cab drivers were Jeff Bykowski and Howard Martens.

Matt and David’s competition was a short-lived cab operation run by Skip Duggan. Matt and David bought out Skip’s operation, but Rock Cab was also doomed to be short-lived thanks to a little too much partying, according to Matt. By the way, Rock Cab operated out of what is now Chris Krueger’s Surf Shop next to Mojito Bay. Dick Dysert and his partner, Ivy, started Put-in-Bay Taxi Co. in 1978. He used a fleet of yellow-painted vans with a professional-looking logo. One of Dick’s memorable drivers was “Big John.” He was well-known by the Islanders and garnered their support for his dream of canoeing via the nation’s waterways from Lake Erie to the Gulf of Mexico.

There were fundraisers for his trip, but once he left, the trip quickly became a bust due to John being significantly overweight and out of shape. Dick sold what is now the oldest-existing cab company on the island to Larry Kowalski, who runs year-round transporting people, hauling mailing between the post office and the Put-in-Bay Airport, plus transporting the kids and teachers who fly into Put-in-Bay for school from the other islands.

Taxi Service In the 1990s & Into the 21st Century

Roy Steunenberg came to the island in 1997 after running a cab company on the mainland for several years. He started Northcoast Cab, which still operates today, but another party now owns it. Mary, Roy’s widow, has been driving cabs on the island for 22 years and says she has many tales to tell about her experiences.

The late Stan Snider also operated a cab company. In those days, almost 20 years ago, the fare was $2 a head, and competition was fierce as other cab companies started up. Other memorable owners/ drivers were John Pleva, Dave Washtock, Bruce Burkett, and Brian Cultice.  For many years the taxis thrived because the bars downtown closed at 1 a.m. The bars outside town stayed open until 2:30 a.m. for those whose thirst wasn’t quite quenched.

Late-night runs to the Castle Inn until it burned, Dailey’s Tavern, and later to the Skyway until it closed were lucrative. “Late Nite” at the Skyway would see the cabs lined up out to Airport Rd at times when the bar closed. Once the bars started staying open downtown, those late-night runs became trips back to the burgeoning number of out of- town accommodations.

Taxi Service Regulation

Taxi owners were making the bulk of their money on the weekends, but problems came when drivers brought vans from the mainland to compete for the big bucks. Drivers were found sleeping in their vans and would leave the island once the weekend was over, while those with a vested interest in the island struggled during the week. There were other complaints, too, and eventually, the Village of Put-in-Bay decided it needed to pass an ordinance with mandatory rules and regulations, including a limited number of taxi licenses that could be issued.

Lawmakers took some time to pass taxi service legislation, but the problems were solved eventually. The legislation requires background checks for drivers, insurance coverage, cleanliness of cabs and size, and number of passengers, among many other things. The ordinance has been the law for the last several years

Taxi Service Modern Day

Today there are eight taxi companies with 36 cabs servicing the island – Competition is still stiff, which is evident if you’ve ever gotten off the ferry at the Lime Kiln and seen all the cabs lined up. As one operator recently said, more than ten cab companies have come and gone in the last several years. Last month’s public hearing at the Town Hall was to determine if fewer or more than 36 cabs should be licensed to operate on the island.

In the modern-day, these taxi service companies transport riders staying at new and modern Put-in-Bay Hotels & Resorts like the Put-in-Bay Resort. During the testimony from those present, it was obvious that the Village’s taxi ordinance needs to be amended to clarify some procedural problems. It is for this reason we endorse and recommend Coops Cab for all your taxi needs!

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