Put in Bay Taxi Service - A picture of the Put in Bay island taxi van.

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.

Click here for Reservations for Pick Up By Coop’s CabsPicture of a Put-in-Bay Taxi Coop's Cab


Our Services :

  • 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

Corporate Shuttle 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 islands newest fleet.

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

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service History

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service

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 which 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 taxi service of the past or the taxi service of today is better.

Put-in-Bay Taxi Service – THE BEGINNING

The Hotel Victory was located where the South Bass State Park is now. You could disembark from one of the many steamers and catch a trolly which passed the island’s biggest attractions, the caves and Heineman Winery on the way to the hotel. 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 taxi service on South Bass Island. There were no runs to the Lime Kiln Dock simply because there was no ferry service there. 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 were 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 taxi on the island, but whoever it was saw the need and started his engine and it 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, not only to haul passengers but also to 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 who 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. Keep in mind, 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 means of easy 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 came to an end, there was still a need for taxi service.

The last of the big open limo cabs started to disappear 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 seated on 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 huge red 1953 Packard convertible. The business only lasted a couple of summers until Mack went to work for Lee Miller on the ferry. He did, however, drive 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. When they sold the Victory Park Resort to the Starners, the cabs were part of the deal.

About 1977, Matt Parker who is now the dockmaster for Miller Boat Line at Catawba and David Bianchi who now also works for Miller Boat Line partnered up to run Rock Cab. They used their personal vehicles, 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 extremely 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 a couple of years. He started Northcoast Cab which still operates today, but it is now owned by another party. Mary, Roy’s widow, has been driving cabs on the island for 22 years and says she’s got lots of 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 of 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 runs. “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 were bringing vans over from the mainland to compete for the big bucks. Drivers were found sleeping in their vans and then would leave the island once the weekend was over, while those who had 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 which had mandatory rules and regulations, including a limited number of taxi licenses that could be issued. Lawmakers took some time to pass taxi legislation, but eventually, the problems were pretty much solved. The legislation requires background checks for drivers, insurance coverage, cleanliness of cabs and size of
cabs 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 obvious if you’ve ever gotten off the ferry at the Lime Kiln and seen all the cabs lined up. As one operator recently said, there have been more than ten cab companies that 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 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 for this reason we endorse and recommend Coops Cab for all your taxi needs!

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