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A Century of Central Taxi in White Plains

The hometown company marks a milestone—with beginnings that pre-date the City of White Plains.

 

Back in 1912, it was known as the Central Transfer and Taxicab Company and it is said to have begun with a single horse and buggy.

Today, the familiar city cab service, continues to serve Westchester County’s commercial hub and beyond.

The White Plains-based company, one of the oldest in town, has been ferrying passengers to their destinations for a century, with loyal fleets of drivers that have adapted and perservered, much like the city itself.

Raymond Carloni, a driver and principal of the company, said that in his 32 years in the taxi business, he has seen major transformations in the city’s landscape.

“I remember when there were dirt roads in White Plains,” he said. “Today it is very commercial—with hotels, The Westchester, and movie theaters—it really feels like a little New York City.”

According to Westchester County Historical Society librarian Patrick Raftery, White Plains was still a town and village in 1912, but was growing so rapidly that it incorporated as a city in 1915.

He said that in 1900, its population was just under 8,000, but by 1910 it had doubled and today, there are over 56,000 residents. The city's populations swells to 250,000 during the day.

Central Taxi has endured as a part of the fabric of the ever-growing city.

Generations of owner-operators have continued Central Taxi's legacy by driving the navy-blue-and-white cabs—its fleet now numbers thirteen—with each medallion and car being owned by the individual driver. The taxi company works under the auspices of the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety and abides by its rules and ordinances.  

Driver Amy Braunstein, who has been driving cabs for more than 30 years, said that the name “Central Taxi” is a source of pride for its drivers. “We have a reputation of being the most experienced drivers around and we all know the area very, very well,” she said.

The flat rate for the zone within the city is currently $4.10—it goes up incrementally for further distances, according to Carloni, and he added that Central Taxi will go out of town, to the airports, or anywhere a customer needs.

The veteran driver acknowledged that the current economic climate has made things difficult for the industry. “I am hoping things pick up this year despite the competition and our smaller size,” he said.

And Braunstein noted that the taxi’s phone number: 949-0110, is one that has been around since the beginning of telephone numbers in the city. She feels that the number is part of the nostalgia that people feel for Central Taxi.

 “People know us—they know we have integrity and that we are honest and knowledgeable, she said. “We are the model cab company for White Plains.”

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Ellen LaNicca Albanese January 30, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Mr. Jim Hiney, now 101 years young and still kicking has been a lifelong resident of White Plains. He ran Central Taxi for many years. His son and my dear friend, Mr. Robert C. Hiney - Bobby to many of us - was my faithful driver from Central Taxi for many, many years. Bobby died way too young on December 11, 2009. No story about Central Taxi should be written without mentioning Jim and Bobby. It would be well worth a discussion with some of the real old timers who knew Central Taxi in its early years. With luck some of them might see this and comment here.
Henry Ferlauto January 31, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Quite an accomplishment for any business. Congratulations.
Dina Sciortino January 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Thanks Ellen. I didn't write this story, but I am sure the reporter probably would of included them in the story had someone mentioned them. Anyhow, thank you so much for taking the time to share that little piece of White Plains history with us. If we write about Central Taxi again I will be sure to seek out Mr. Hiney.
Denise Di Biasi February 02, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I am not big on taxi cabs: however, if I ever need one, I ONLY call Central. It is the only taxi company service I allowed my son to use, as well. I have cousins that drove for them, also. Congratulations to Central Taxi for 100 years of excellent service!
Dina Sciortino February 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Thank you all for sharing your warm memories of Central Taxi.
amy braunstein February 02, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Thank you everyone. Central Taxi appreciates your comments and hope to continue servicing you and your families. Sincerely Amy Braunstein
Dina Sciortino February 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Thanks Amy!

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