ROCKPORT, Texas — As the spread of the coronavirus continues across cities in Texas, one industry that is suffering is the taxi business.
It’s hard to make a living out of transporting people places, when everyone’s being told to stay at home.
When ride sharing soared in popularity, the taxi industry saw a huge decline in business.
Now taxi owners and drivers who were barely holding on have seen their livelihoods vaporize as the country shuts down restaurants and bars to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“People are not going places, all the bars shut down,” said Grady Cartwright, who has owned and operated Aransas County Taxi Service for 14 years.
He says his business took a big hit when Uber and Lyft came into town, but nothing compared to what the coronavirus is doing.
Cartwright already had to let go of one-fourth of his driving staff and is grappling to pay the bills to keep the business afloat.
“We have no income,” he said. “I talked to my insurance agent and my insurance payments come out draft out of the account regularly monthly and he said if it ain’t there, they’re gonna cancel your insurance.”
Cartwright says he might have to file for bankruptcy under a worst case scenario.
But he hopes the pandemic can slow down before it comes to that.
“Everybody just stay safe and hopefully it’s gonna get better,” he said.