David Robinson, founder of the company, has three vehicles running - the purple Electra, a gold Cadillac Sedan Deville and a lime green van he calls the "Mystery Mobile," reminiscent of the Mystery Machine in the old Saturday cartoon "Scooby Doo.
"I try to go with a different style that you don't see all the time," Robinson
The company name comes from the cars - Robinson
said the term hooptie means "big old car."
"You get dropped off VIP style," Robinson
But Hooptie Ride
is about more than riding in style.
service, which runs primarily after 7 p.m., is an alternative to driving after drinking.
"We are specializing in being a designated driver service," he
"When we get them out, we feel responsible for getting them home safely."
said getting intoxicated people home can be a tough job at times.
is not in business to compete with Blacksburg's other cab companies, although HooptieRide
does offer airport services.
also holds a certificate of public convenience, which allows him to carry up to 15 passengers in a vehicle.
The standard cab certificate allows for six passengers.
Catering to groups is a specialty of HooptieRide
Robinson works with fraternities and sororities at Virginia Tech during special events.
tries to make it more than just a ride.
"When you pull up, people are checking you out," Robinson
"There is a local pop culture behind it."
Jason Swayze, a "virgin rider" as Robinson
called him, agreed.
"You can get a picture of you and your buddies to remember the night," Robinson
Also on the Web page, one can see Holmes, an English bulldog and the official HooptieRide
job fun, but is serious when it comes to safety.
said the size of his
cars and their heavy frames contribute to their excellent safety records.
also said drivers are never in a hurry to get where they are going.
"There is no need to hurry in a Hooptie
and two other drivers keep the business rolling.
said, customers will not have to wait more then 15 minutes and there is normally a car around the corner.
It is not just a service for Virginia Tech
said, although they have been the primary users.
Rides are $2 for groups and $5 for individuals, though pricing is different for special services.
business is not making money yet, though it is supporting itself.
is on the lookout for a fourth car, although he
is not sure what it will be or when it will be purchased.
"I will know it when I see it," he
As for the future Robinson said he
would like to see Hooptie Ride franchises in other college towns.
"If done properly, we could go a long way with this," he
(left), founder of HooptieRide
, greets his
Ride taxi service: proprietor David Robinson (center), drivers Josh