Dick johnston bought the yellow cab company in 1973. This week, after almost 45 years, he turned out the lights.
“When did you notice things start to go downhill?”
Dick Johnston, owner of Newton Cab Company: “Seriously downhill? About two years ago. And last year, it really took a nosedive.”
The reason he says is Uber and Lyft. The popular ride-sharing apps exploded in popularity several years ago, and Johnston says he was just too slow to adapt.
Dick Johnston, owner of Newton Cab Company: “is social media responsible for this downfall of newspapers? In that same sense, Uber is responsible for our downfall.”
We reached out to Uber for a response. A spokesperson told us, quote, “More than 20,000 people in Massachusetts are driving with Uber, because our app provides the freedom to work on a schedule that fits your life — not the other way around.”
Charles frost, owner of patriot taxi: “Uber and Lyft are killing this industry.”
Charles frost owns “patriot taxi” in Waltham. He says Uber and Lyft have cost him 30 to 40 percent of his business.
Charles frost, owner of patriot taxi: “They have none of the regulations that we have. They have none of the expenses we have.”
Frost says taxes and insurance cost him 16-thousand dollars per vehicle every year. That’s not including the taxi medallion and vehicle maintenance.
“Is there anything you could have done differently or wish you had done differently?”
Dick Johnston, owner of Newton Cab Company: “I could have been, if I were a younger man and less stubborn, I could have adapted to the point of having apps and been online more, and it certainly would have lasted longer, if I had done that.”
For now, Johnston’s yellow cabs are parked in a business that’s operating more and more in the red.
Copyright 2017 WFXT/CNN