Meet a Madison Green Cab Company

A next-gen business helps Madison go green

Amanda Schmidt is no stranger to the transportation business. Her great-grandfather, Norbert, founded Badger Cab along with twelve others in the 1940s, and remained somewhat active until he sold his share in the ’70s. She grew up in the Schmidt’s Auto family.
In 2009, the family began talking about the future of transportation and technology in Madison, and an eco-friendly business concept soon took shape.

Armed with a marketing degree from Edgewood College, Amanda, 24, dove into the idea of a green cab company. She and her aunt, Jodie, wrote the business plan; Amanda designed the logo and went to school on the operating tools the business would need to cater to today’s brand of consumer, starting with—what else?—a Prius. Last June, Green Cab of Madison received its license of operation. Since the first hybrid rolled onto the streets, Amanda has been a hands-on presence, heavily involved in day-to-day operations in addition to her other duties as marketing manager.

While the company’s fleet of hybrid vehicles is the most visibly green tool of the trade, other modern, customer-friendly choices set Green Cab apart from the competition. Schmidt and her partners chose iPads instead of two-way radios, and exclusive GPS software takes the guessing game out of the fare—it’s tabulated and delivered to customers before they use the service, guaranteed. And bike racks are available at no additional cost.

The goal, says Schmidt, was to reach an untapped, niche market of leaner, greener users in greater Madison, while offering low rates. So far, so good. Green Cab has more than doubled its original fleet of ten. And new this spring, customers have the choice of direct or shared rides, and they can scan QR codes on the sides of all cabs to upload company info to their smart phones.

THE VITALS

• Marketing manager, Green Cab
• Madison native
• Degree in marketing, Edgewood College
• Volunteer, Bikes for Tikes

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The Breakdown

KID COLLABORATIONS
Congratulations to Centro Hispano and the UW–Madison School of Education for a successful 1st Annual Latino Youth Summit. Eighty-plus Madison middle school students participated in a three-day program that focused on high school and pursuing higher education. Events like these are crucial in preparing the next generation of leaders in our community.

BUILDING THE FUTURE
Mt. Zion Baptist Church commemorates its 100th anniversary this month. In celebration and in planning for the future, the church has launched a capital campaign to build the Community Life Center that will grow its important and effective outreach efforts.

FIT TO PRINT
In 1991, Betty Franklin-Hammonds, Betty Banks and Gaddi Ben Dan saw a need for a strong voice for people of color. So they launched The Madison Times. Twenty years later, under the leadership of Ray Allen, the newspaper is still vital, and still going strong.

Derrell Connor hosts “Outreach” on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA, pens a column for Channel 3000 and freelances for Madison Magazine.

Read more columns by Derrell Connor here

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