Photo by: Palmbeachpost.com
Jeff Isaacs, who works as a promoter, parking staff, caretaker, and performer, wears a couple of hats when he drives a golf cart to carry his clients to the shore Inlet Village, a popular attraction in Jupiter. Like a charismatic politician, Isaacs always waves and cheers at other valets, drivers, and pedestrians. Many of them call his name and then wave back. “I can book a good table in the restaurant with a view to the ocean,” Jeff says. “Do you want to use a kayak? I can sing happy birthday just like Elvis Presley. If you feel cold, I will give you a blanket. Also, I might help deal with issues in the parking area,” boasts the gangling, garrulous Jupiter citizen while he is driving 6 cheerful clients from the Square Grouper to u-Tiki restaurant.
Totally free and pet allowed, this ride is called the Zeke’s Taxi Service in Golf Cart, named after his father. Although tips are optional, he once claims that he got a $200 gratuity. Wayne Posner – Vice Mayor – says that these golf cart taxis are a part of the city’s plan to alleviate traffic and encourage other modes of transportation such as bicycling or walking in the Inlet Village.
This small town set up speed bumps and lowered the speed limit. The government has allocated nearly $8 on building sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, and bicycle lanes on the way from US1 to the Beach Road and Indiantown Road. At the age of 56, Isaacs is a private “taxi driver” whose earnings come from advertisements on the 17-mile-per-hour golf cart. He has been ferrying clients since May along A1A south to Juno Beach. Some common stops include condominiums such as Publix, DuBois Park, Ocean Trail, the Juno Pier, Harborside Place, and the Pit Stop convenience store.
“Why I should drive when there is always a free ride? I often move with this service because it is totally safer and reduces the number of cars on the road,” said Kayleigh Nolan, a waitress in Jupiter who celebrated her 21st birthday with 5 friends on a golf cart.
Isaacs just invested nearly $24,000 to purchase 2 more golf carts. Each can accommodate up to 8 people. He is adding more parts such as brake lights, windshield, mirrors, tires, and seat belts. Once he got the permission from the government, Isaacs will hire 2 drivers and start this unique service. In his long-term plans, he calls for purchasing more carts to expand his business. While the city is considering to give him a grant of $5,000 to $10,000, Isaacs plans to progress with or without this amount grant. “If the Inlet Village can be successful in this program, the city needs to resolve its parking problem,” suggested Isaacs, when he is driving down the Love Street. Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Delray Beach also have electric vehicles and golf carts that provide visitors with free rides across the downtowns. Just like the service in Jupiter, profits mainly come from advertising.
Next month, the Delray Beach service will celebrate its six-year since the first ride. With 10 6-seat open-air carts, they pick up and drop nearly 200 customers every day between the Atlantic Ocean and the tennis center. To success, it is important to build a good relationship with the local businesses, said Spaargaren – one of the owners. As retail stores, restaurants, and hotels see more riders, they will book more advertising banners on these vehicles.
In addition, hiring experienced drivers who are excel at these tasks and have a great understanding of the local community is the key to success, he said. This is simply because chatting with customers about local businesses and knowledge is a part of this job. In other words, they are the ambassadors of the service.