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Wisconsin State Journal

Jan. 23, 1970

Higher Rate For Taxicabs Is Approved


(Of The State Journal staff)

            Higher rates for taxicabs were granted Thursday night by a voice vote of the City Council.

            The increase includes both a higher rate for waiting time and a 10-cent raise in the rate for the first zone. All four cab companies are affected.

            WAITING TIME rates now will cost $5 instead of $4, and the first zone will be 55 cents instead of 45 cents, although additional zones remain at 10 cents each.

            The flat rate system from the Truax area was changed to a zone, which is expected to give a reduction in fares there.

            Ald. Jan Wheeler, 18th Ward, objected to the proposal, saying that cabs with meters, charging both by time and distance traveled, would cost passengers more because when caught in slow traffic the meter would continue to run, charging at the higher waiting time rate.

            ALD. PAUL Soglin, Eighth Ward, who drives a Yellow Cab and who did not vote, said drivers generally turn off the meter if traffic stops.

            Soglin said running the meter when stopped, unless the driver is waiting for a passenger, antagonized the customer, was bad for business, and resulted in a lost tip.

            A MOTION by Wheeler for separate consideration of the waiting time increase failed for lack of a second.

            Under the new rates, drivers will make more money, according to company officials.

            For example, under the $4 an hour waiting rate, if a driver spent one hour waiting, he would only make $1.60 for that hour's work, based on a 40 per cent commission rate. Under the new rates the driver would make $2 for the hour.


Wisconsin State Journal

Feb. 25, 1970

Week Will Honor Community Radio Watch Members

            Gov. Warren P. Knowles Monday proclaimed Mar. 9 to 16 as Community Radio Watch (CRW) Week in Wisconsin in gratitude to hundreds of private business owners and employes who use their two-way radio-equipped autos and trucks to aid citizens.

            Madison has more than 200 private firm-owned vehicles, all with CRW red, white, and blue windshield stickers, whose drivers are enlisted in the program “to provide extra eyes and ears for public safety” by fast reporting with their mobile radios.
            Joseph E. Switalski, 2129 E. Mifflin St., a Madison cab driver for 29 years and a CRW member, was credited last week by police for aiding a seriously ill man via his fast radio contact with an ambulance crew.

            Switalski, dispatched to pick up a taxi passenger at 206 N. Fourth St., looked through a locked door to see William C. Schlosser, 77, unconscious on the floor inside. Switalski used| his Yellow Cab radio to call a fire ambulance crew and helped them using a lock-picker to open the door and take the conscious man to a hospital.

            With immediate treatment for a diabetic ailment, Schlosser was released from the hospital about four hours later — and called Yellow Cab Co. requesting the same driver (Switalski) to return him home.

            “When citizens use facilitiessuch as two-way radio to speed response to emergencies, crime, and sickness, their service to the community is priceless,” Gov. Knowles said.


Capital Times

March 7, 1970

The Lady Is a Cab Driver — at Last


(Of The Capital Times Staff)

            NOWADAYS when you hop into a cab, you might be startled to find the driver is a lady.

            Lady cab drivers have been around since World War II, but their number, compared to men, is small. You might ride around in cabs for a year before discovering a woman at the wheel.

            For many years, some cab companies refused to hire women drivers at all. It wasn’t until July 1966 that the Yellow Cab Company, the last holdout, succumbed.

            Bea Nolen, 634 Pickford St., whose husband Clarence has been a Yellow Cab driver for over ten years, was the first of the lady drivers for Yellow.

            “I had been pestering them for a job for some time,” she explained. “They kept turning me down. Then when I noticed their ad in the “Help Wanted Male and Female” column one night, I thought it was in the wrong column. I went down the next morning to tease them about the mistake. They assured me it was no mistake and hired me on the spot.”

            “That ad’s been running for a week,” they said. “What took you so long?”

            BEA NOLEN has been driving a cab ever since, every day but Sundays. She likes to get to work before 6 a.m. and then is home around 3 p.m. when her three children come home from school. She never works nights, although there’s a law that says she can if she wants to.

            “Yellow now has six women drivers, which isn’t very many when you consider they run 35 cabs in good weather and are allowed 45 in bad weather, day and night,” she explains. “All the women but one drive in the daytime.”

            She finds her job very challenging. She, like other drivers, works completely on commission, so the more passengers she carries the higher her income.

            “Usually the traffic seems to go in a certain pattern,” she explained. “You learn to be psychic about it and you manage to be in the right place at the right time.”

            Of course there are days when you aren’t “hitting” at all, she says. You find yourself on the east side when all the calls are from the west side, or you find yourself free just moments after a call has been given to someone else.

            “These days are very frustrating. You may be working harder than ever, yet your income is way down.”

            She drives carefully, she says, to avoid accidents, not only for the obvious reasons but also because accidents are time consuming.

            “We call time reporting an accident, filling out forms, etc. Dead Time. We can’t take on new passengers during this time, so it can become very costly.”

            SHE IS NOT BOTHERED with drunks. “We have a rule we do not take anyone into the cab who cannot get in by himself and who cannot tell where he wants to go. We turn them over to the police.”

            Like other cab drivers and people who have car radios, she reports suspicious looking characters she sees to the police. She alerts them to accidents. “We help the police and people this way.”

            As a general rule, she goes from one call to another. Sometimes, to avoid missing calls from the Dispatcher, she will eat her lunch in a drive-in, with her radio tuned in. Cabs don’t cruise around anymore, looking for fares. When they have no passengers, they go to one of several waiting posts scattered about the city.

            Cab drivers have to know street locations, how to operate a car radio and how to handle the meter. New drivers are trained by older drivers.

            The Dispatch caller gets about 2,000 calls in a 24-hour period. Daytimes, two people are on duty, but night calls are usually handled by one man. The Dispatcher assigns each call to a cab by number. He knows where every cab is every minute of the day and night.

            MRS. NOLEN NEVER really has had any serious problems with passengers. “I’m busy listening to the Dispatcher,” she says. “This discourages most passengers. If it doesn’t, I cool them down with extreme politeness. This always works.”

            One time, a passenger asked her “where the girls” are?

            “I don’t know,” she told him. “I’ve never looked for them.”

            Silence reigned thereafter.

            She has worked as a nurse’s assistant and as a waitress and has found that impossible people are more impossible when they have an audience.

            “In the cab, there’s no audience. Just me. That’s no fun,” she laughs.

            BEA NOLEN likes being a cab driver. There are so many bonus features, she says.

            “I see many beautiful things I might not see otherwise, like a first snowfall at 6 a.m. on autumn colored leaves, or like the early morning sun turning the City County Building a beautiful shade of pink.

            “I’ve come to know some of the people who use cabs a lot and I enjoy visiting with them. They’re sort of like old friends.

            “You never know, when you answer a call, just who your passenger will be. Or what. I’ve transported dogs and cats and once even an alligator. My husband had a monkey for a passenger one time.”



Capital Times

March 10, 1970

Taximan Gets Award for Part In Saving Life

            Thomas Hunter, a Yellow Cab; Co. taxi driver, received a community distinguished service award Monday for action resulting in saving the life of a woman beaten in a grocery store robbery last July.

            Hunter, of 1227 E. Dayton St.. received the award from Gov. Warren P. Knowles.

            Hunter summoned Madison police to the store by contacting the Yellow Cab dispatcher. Police were able to save the life of the elderly woman who was found semi-conscious in her store.

            A $200 U.S. savings bond and plaque, donated by Motorola Communications and Electronics, Inc., was presented to Hunter.


Wisconsin State Journal

May 16, 1970


            A Yellow Cab driver was robbed by a strong-arm bandit early today at Few and Jenifer Sts. Police said the amount stolen could not immediately be determined.


Capital Times

Aug. 14, 1970

Police Search for Two Men in Taxi Robbery

            Police arc searching for two men who robbed a Yellow Cab of $32 and his billfold after he arrived their destination on Madison's South Side early today.

            Paul Zmudzinski, 23, of 1025 Sherman Ave., picked up the two fares at State and Gilman Streets at about 1:45 a.m., he told police.

            He said that when he arrived near Bram and Third Streets, one of the men, riding in front, told him to stop. The other fare, riding in the rear seat, put a belt-like object around the driver's neck and pulled it fight, while asking for all his money, according to the report.

            They took his wallet and money and ran off, disappearing on a side street.


Capital Times

Oct. 22, 1970

Fun and Night Life

Gary Rettgen

            KEN KELLER is an occasional Madison Yellow Cab driver and is a prodigious Madison Theatre Guild worker who migrates sometimes to Florida to take care of his apartment house property. Some several seasons ago, he reports, he worked on the local productions of “Guys and Dolls” and “Never Too Late.” Recently, he returned from the Florida Keys, where a Theatre Guild also flourishes. Their productions included “Guys and Dolls” and “Never Too Late.”


Wisconsin State Journal

Nov. 22, 1970

Two Are Injured in Two-Car Crash

            Two persons suffered minor injuries and two automobiles were destroyed in a collision at Prospect and Van Hise Aves. shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

            William Leahy, 69, Sauk City, and his wife Dorothy, 68, were bruised when Leahy's car collided with a Yellow Cab driven by Linda Sartori, 22, 112 N. Mills St. They refused medical treatment.

            Leahy was charged with failure to yield the right-of-way and Miss Sartori with imprudent speed.


Wisconsin State Journal

Feb. 9, 1971

Train Bumps Cab

            Benjamin Cimino, 30, of 3516 Gregory St., a Yellow Cab driver, escaped injury about 12:35 p.m. Monday when his taxi was bumped by a Milwaukee Railroad switch engine on the 600 block W. Doty St. tracks.

            Cimino said he thought the train engine was stopped when he crossed the tracks marked only by stationary crossbar signs. Leo J. Cooper, 51, of 1112 Mound St., City Council president at work as switchman a block away, told police the engine and caboose were moving slowly when the taxi crossed the tracks.


Capital Times

March 26, 1971

            Three young men from Albany, Kurt Gaarder, Karl Blumer and Jerry Henrikson, are at home at 817 Vera Ct. Karl, who attends the University of Wisconsin, and Jerry, who is employed by the Yellow Cab Co., recently completed service with the Army. Kurt is employed; by the Chicago and North Western Railway Co.


Capital Times

April 7, 1971

Assault on Cab Driver Nets $I, Plus Free Ride

            Yellow Cab driver, Kenneth E. Keller, 46, was held by the throat until he passed out, and then robbed of $1 by two young men he had picked up at the Milwaukee Road rail depot shortly after 12:30 a.m. today. Keller told police that one of he two, who asked to be taken to Truax Apartments, was giving him change when the other, in the back seat, grabbed him around the neck and squeezed until Keller was unconscious.

            He said that when he came to, his taxi was parked on Wright Street, near Wright Court; his keys had been thrown away, and the $1 he was going to give in change was gone with the assailants. The men, who said they had come into town for a party at a friend’s house also got away without paying a $3.75 fare, but Keller said they missed $15 in his shirt pocket.


Madison Capital Times

Aug. 21, 1972

Girl taxi driver dons frills to charm Sunday customers

by ANN BECKMANN (of The Capital Times Women's Staff)

            EVERY SUNDAY morning Yellow Cab driver Terri Maliszewski, 23, puts on her frilliest duds and reports to work.

            Although it isn't customary for cab drivers to be all gussied up on the job, Terri feels the “little old ladies” who ride to church on Sunday mornings really appreciate it.

            “The little old ladies toddling off to church on Sundays are so nice. During the week I usually wear jeans, but it's lighter work on Sundays and it feels good to get dressed up once in awhile,” said the rookie cab driver who lives on a farm in Ml. Horeb.

            SHE CLAIMS none of her fares has ever complained about women drivers, even though she's only been working with Yellow for six weeks.

            “As a matter of fact, older women tell me they feel safer. They say the older men cab drivers look so ferocious,” she said.

            Ferocious she's not, at just over five foot four inches tall.

            ORIGINALLY FROM the Milwaukee area, Terri decided she wanted to get job experience of all sorts. She worked as a switchboard operator, a bank teller and a sales clerk before turning to taxi driving.

            “I didn’t want to sit still. With a little experience in all different areas, I can decide what to do with the rest of my life. I’ve never had such a good time at a job, though, as I'm having driving cab,” she remarked.


Wisconsin State Journal

Sept. 22, 1972

Help for ‘Insecure Motorists’

            A pilot program to help insecure motorists has been started by the Madison Yellow Cab Co. in cooperation with the Madison Area Safety Council and the International Taxicab Assn.

            Under the program, persons who temporarily feel unable to drive themselves may be driven to their destination in their own car by calling the company’s “Insecure Motorist Chauffeur” program at 255-8844.


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