Yellow Cab now offers courier services in Warren

Yellow Cab of Shenandoah LLC has expanded its business to include Yel-livery. In addition to picking up people, drivers  also offer delivery of goods such as food, medications and legal documents in Warren and Page counties and Luray.

Yellow Cab has offered this service previously, but is hoping to expand its operation, said Tony Elar Jr., president and owner of Yellow Cab of Shenandoah LLC.

“We currently do it now,” he said. “We saw that there was a demand for it. We decided to go in a much greater way because of the success that we’ve had and we haven’t even advertised it. People have been using us since we’ve been in business, and we’ve been delivering prescriptions since we’ve been in business, so we decided to promote it.”

Elar said he was encouraged by the success of businesses like Lyft and Uber, which have been successful in the Northern Virginia area and have recently started offering courier services in addition to the rideshare business.

The vehicles at Yellow Cab are all late model Ford Crown Victorias, said Elar. Like many other cab operations, Elar purchases the vehicles from police auctions and outfits them to be taxis. Yellow Cab offers Ford Explorers during slippery winter conditions.

Elar said that his company’s visibility and rapport with area residents influenced his decision to offer the service for Front Royal.

“We’re strongly based in this area, we have good coverage,” he said. “We’ve got10 cabs on the road every day. We have the ability to respond to (calls) in a timely (manner). … No one wants to wait three hours for their food.”

Elar said the Yel-livery portion of his business has worked out well, since his requests for taxis are at their lowest during lunch hours, but that the Yel-livery operation thrive during such times.

Yellow Cab’s Yel-livery needs no special licensing to deliver prescription medication and the company’s drivers don’t even look in the bags, Elar said, explaining how Yellow Cab currently works in the CVS’ and RiteAid’s Express Scripts programs.

Elar said Yellow Cab’s legitimacy is important, as Warren County does not have any taxi ordinances on the books, meaning that, theoretically, anybody can operate a taxi service without regulation from the town.

“All of our drivers go through strict, stringent background checks and criminal checks,” Elar said. “Our drivers take random drug tests.”

Drivers for Yel-livery are the middlemen. They are given a customer’s order, they go to the requested restaurant, pharmacy, law office or other business, and they pick up the order and deliver it to the customer.

Elar said there isn’t much competition, as companies like Lyft and Uber have yet to expand to the sparsely populated Shenandoah Valley. The company’s main competition are pizza places and Chinese restaurants that offer free delivery, but Elar said people are often looking for more options, which Yel-livery affords them.

Yel-livery’s cost is the cost of cab fare plus a $5 fee. Customers can call in their requests at  540-622-6060. The company operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com