Silver Bay resident Jeff Asmussen has been thinking about starting a cab business for 14 years.
When the owner of Cadillac Cab previously worked for an oil company, one of his duties was to fuel the heavy equipment at Cleveland-Cliffs Northshore Mining in Silver Bay.
"Many times when I talked with the guards at the gate, they'd talk about how they needed to get a cab out here for the guys who come in off the boats," Asmussen said. "So I was kind of looking for a new venture last summer, so I decided to start up my own cab business."
Silver Bay doesn't have a taxi cab company nor any Uber or Lyft drivers. Asmussen hopes to fill in the gap by providing rides for people in the city and along the shore. He started the business last year and is looking forward to another busy summer.
Most of Asmussen's customers consist of workers coming off of iron ore boats and hikers hoping to get back to their cars. Occasionally, he'll get a call at 2 or 3 a.m. for a ride home from a bar. Most people find him through his Facebook page or one of his posters placed around the community.
Asmussen is still in the process of getting his cab company fully licensed. The main hindrance is the insurance rates. Asmussen said he was quoted $3,000 to $4,000 to insure his one-car cab company.
"With my little small-time operation, I don't make enough to cover that much, so I'm still shopping around," Asmussen said.
Because of that, he can't currently charge people, but he can drive them and accept tips. When someone calls him, based on their destination, he'll give them a suggested tip. For most places in town, he asks for $10.
"Normally, they'll throw me $15-$20. If I take someone to the Duluth airport, then I'll normally say about $70," Asmussen said. "People are good tippers. They like the service and they take care of me. It's nowhere near big enough to support myself, but it does pick up a bit in the summer."
The primary car Asmussen uses is a 1995 Cadillac DeVille sedan. He bought the car in Mexico in 2008.
"People really like the comfort of it," Asmussen said. "It's got plenty of room so you can sit four people comfortably, five if I put up the middle armrest in the front."
The car also inspired the name of the company. Asmussen is a big Cadillac fan. His first car was a 1973 Cadillac DeVille and he's owned four or five Caddys since then.
Cadillac Cab can be found on Facebook or call 218-220-9720.