COVID-19 sidelines Roanoke taxis, but Yellow Cab could ride again

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 7:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The walls of the Yellow Cab office carry many reminders of the company’s rich history in the Roanoke Valley.

“This was an old manifest board that we had at that time, looks like about 60 taxicabs,” said co-owner Steve Roberts.

The roots are intertwined with generations of the Roberts Family.

“Now this picture up here,” said co-owner Bille Roberts, “That’s my uncle Jack Roberts. He established Yellow Cab Company.”

Steve and BIlly Roberts’ grandfather started the Virginia Taxi Company in 1928. Their father and uncle took over in the 1930s. The brothers have been involved in the business since the ’70s.

The cabs have continued to roll through good times and bad, but when COVID-19 devastated the airline industry, eliminated the demand for routine medical visits and made it more difficult to recruit drivers, the Roberts Brothers say they had little choice but to pull their cars off the road.

“It’s bittersweet, but it’s time,” Steve Roberts told WDBJ7.

“It saddens us to know that we’re no longer going to be a part of Yellow Cab,” Billy Roberts said, “but hopefully, and we say hopefully, the suspension is just temporary, because we do have some interested investors for Yellow Cab.”

So discussions that could keep the Yellow Cab name on the road in the Roanoke Valley continue.

And the Roberts brothers say they are planning to sell some of their Yellow Cab memorabilia at auction.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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