Uber expands to the Lakeshore, but local taxi service isn't intimidated

Uber on the Lakeshore

GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - The ride-hailing service Uber is starting service in Holland, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Saugatuck, and South Haven on Friday, June 16.

This week Uber also expanded to New Buffalo, St. Joseph, and Benton Harbor.

In Grand Haven taxi cab drivers Richard Retherford says the busy season is Memorial Day to Labor Day and Retherfod knows Uber is after some of that business.

Retherford started Rich's Taxi Service three years ago -- he's usually busy and work always picks up in the summer.  

"I take people to Holland to the train station, up to Muskegon to the bus station," said Retherford.

Visitors to Grand Haven often ask for rides to the beach and downtown shopping location, but he says he's not too worried about Uber.   

"It might take some business away from me but I believe there's enough business to be had out here," said Retherford.

For decades, the city had requirements in place for taxi services like vehicle inspections and background checks for cab drivers. 

"The company itself would have to get a license to operate in the city," said Pat McGinnis, Grand Haven City Manager. "And each vehicle had to be inspected by out public safety department."

Ride-haling companies like Uber and Lyft lead to action at Grand Haven City Hall -- those days have ended now that Uber operates in the state. City officials recently repealed their ordinance. 

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