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Taxi service provides substitute for discontinued shuttle service

ANDREWS AFB, Md. --  Andrews discontinued base shuttle service due to the lack of ridership during Aug. 2006. 

"Operating cost could not be justified while averaging four riders per day," said Capt. Timothy J. Knudson, 316th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Operations flight commander. 

Team Andrews devised two alternatives for pedestrians needing assistance. Share-A-Ride is a free service provided by the Andrews commuters. 

"It's a very easy way to obtain a ride from one on-base point to another," he said.  "Scattered throughout Andrews are pickup points labeled with a brown and white Share-A-Ride sign. Individuals needing a ride will find their way to a designated pickup point and wait for a passing vehicle to stop and offer a ride. If a commuter has the time and the passenger space, they can stop and simply ask are you going my way? This is a great way for Andrews' personnel to take care of one another." 

As a result of base customers' requests and changes to the base access policy, taxi and limo service has returned to Andrews Air Force Base. 

"Representatives from the wing met with Prince George's County taxi companies and we have paved a way ahead," said Chief Master Sgt. Betsy J. Gips, 316th Mission Support Group superintendent. "Taxi drivers from the county can apply to operate on Andrews through the Prince George's County Business License Section in New Carrollton." 

The 316th Security Forces Squadron then conducts background checks and drivers are scheduled for an interview. Once cleared, drivers are provided a long-term badge, which will allow access to the base to pick up customers. Currently, taxis are not allowed on base unless an authorized ID card holder is in the vehicle. This policy will remain in effect for uncleared taxi drivers. 

"From the customer's perspective, the rules of engagement are simple," said Chief Gips. "The fare calls a taxi cab company from the approved base access list and requests a pick up. The fare calls the 316 SFS to pre-announce the taxi." 

During heightened Force Protection Condition Charlie and Delta, taxis are prohibited on base. As a reminder, all drivers entering the base are subject to search on a random basis. 

Designated pick-up points are: 
- Arnold Ave and Menoher Drive -- Passenger Terminal 
- Brookley Avenue -- across from Burger King 
- Arnold Avenue and D Street 
- West Perimeter Road and Yuma Drive 
- Menoher Drive and Tuskeegee Drive 
- West Perimeter Road and Spruce Drive 

Authorized taxi pick-up companies are Checker Cab, 301-864-7700, and Silver Cab, 301-577-2000. 

Ensure to pre-announce taxi pick-ups to the 316 SFS law enforcement desk at 301-981-2001/2002. 
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