Paul Kriegstein graduated from the Cornell Hotel School in ’09, with an eye on customer service and the Ithaca area. Paul visited wineries for social events during college, and now his taxi company Collegetown Cab transports famous groups like Sly and the Family Stone (pictured above) to wineries and music festivals in the Finger Lakes Region. Kriegstein started Collegetown Cab to be a general transportation company and more than a taxi company. Kriegstein’s vision prompted him to take significant risk, and obtain an SBA loan to start the business out of college, instead of entering the traditional workforce. Today the company keeps a fleet of nice vans and sedans in the Ithaca area, and provides a variety of on demand transport, contract business, and tours. Kriegstein also says the cab company specializes in tours, with trained drivers, and a love for the region and wine that adds an executive touch.
Limousines can be nice, but often impractical for smaller groups of 4-6 people who don’t feel a need to impress each other with a stretch ride. Kriegstein says that’s where the long-trusted minivan can come in handy. At $60/hr for tours, Collegetown Cab can be 25 – 50% less than limos, and just as comfortable, if not more comfortable. Air conditioning can be finicky in limos, and Collegetown Cab’s cars stay icy in the hot summers according to Kriegstein, if that’s what customers want. Paul is fond of the wine trail, and has assembled tour options, and assigns the most knowledgeable drivers to the task of chauffeuring groups.
Kriegstein acknowledges some wineries turn away buses or large limos for fear a big crowd can become drunk, hard to control, and threatening to winery property. Groups in taxis rarely attract the same level of scrutiny or concern. College students or exuberant partiers can access the nicer wineries riding in multiple vans with Collegetown Cab, and presumably have a more intimate experience getting there than in a large bus. Hopefully, the more controlled van environment does in fact lead to more docile behavior in the wineries. Otherwise, even, large groups of cabs may get scrutinized at wineries when pulling in for group tours. Until then, an icy Collegetown Cab minivan on a hot June day sounds like a nice way to roll through Ithaca to the Fingerlakes.