No Risk Rides will serve Fort Dodge

‘We help people get to work, get to church, or home from the bar’

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Christopher Fedele, of Fort Dodge, sits in one of the No Risk Rides taxis in downtown Fort Dodge recently.

The primary goal of No Risk Rides is to make sure people get home safely, according to its owner and operator, Craig Davis, of Spencer.

No Risk Rides is a taxi cab company based in Spencer. Davis recently expanded his operations to include Fort Dodge. That service began March 3.

What separates his company, Davis said, is the extra effort to help people.

“We are not a regular service,” Davis said. “We don’t just take you from point A to point B. We make sure people get to the doorstep of their house.”

Davis, a native of Lehigh, said that applies to more than just intoxicated passengers.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Craig Davis, owner of No Risk Rides, right, visits with two of his drivers, Christopher Fedlele, and Luke Espeland, both of Fort Dodge, recently.

“We help people get to work, get to church, or home from the bar,” Davis said. “If it’s an older person, we always help them.”

Davis has been driving a taxi for almost five years.

Prior to that he was working two jobs — one as a welder and the other as an employee of Menards in Spencer.

Then the opportunity came up for Davis to get into the transportation business.

“I quit both of those jobs and bought the night business from Steve Nissen,” Davis said.

Nissen was operating under the name Last Call in Spencer.

After four-and-a-half years there, Davis is hoping he can build a stronger customer base in Fort Dodge.

“I used to run around Fort Dodge,” he said. “This is kind of my home area.”

He added, “Business has dropped off in Spencer.”

Davis said driving a taxi is not an easy job.

“It’s hectic at times,” he said. “You are driving, you have to pay attention. The phone is ringing, you need to write down addresses, people are talking to you.”

According to Davis, the number of operating while intoxicated charges decreased in Spencer, at least in part because of the presence of taxi cabs.

He hopes that trend continues in Fort Dodge.

“I work hand in hand with law enforcement,” he said. “If someone gets pulled over and they are drunk and they have four other people, the dispatcher calls me and I go pick them up.”

Davis said he has also worked with the Spencer Hospital and care centers.

“They will buy $100 worth of ride tickets and offer it to people who don’t have the money,” he said. “Some people have oxygen. We help with that. We kind of go above and beyond a regular taxi service, and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”

Davis has hired two drivers to man Fort Dodge.

Those drivers are Luke Espeland and Christopher Fedele, both of Fort Dodge.

Espeland grew up in Humboldt, where his family operated the Humboldt County Dragway for many years.

Espeland said the hours lined up for him to take the job.

Fedele is a U.S. Navy veteran from Ohio. He moved to Iowa after his service. His past transportation experience includes driving a school bus.

“This seemed like a good opportunity,” Fedele said.

Espeland and Fedele are driving a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country van. They are each paid per ride.

Six people can ride in the van at one time, Davis said.

Alcohol and smoking are not permitted in the vehicle.

Rides cost $8 per person, $11 for two people, and $3 for additional stops.

If four people ride together, but each have different stops, the cost is $8 per stop.

For the next 30 days only, rates will be $6 per person, $9 per couple, and $3 per stop.

Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. the next day and on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Davis said he plans to provide additional transportation services in the future.

“We are looking to expand into the medical side when Fort Dodge gets running, where we will be hauling Medicare and Medicaid patients across the state of Iowa,” he said.

He’s also interested in providing transportation for workers at the Prestage Foods of Iowa pork plant near Eagle Grove.

“We may look at buying a bus to take workers from Fort Dodge over there,” he said. “We have a lot of things in the works. That’s not set in stone, but I know they will be looking for transportation.”

Davis said his focus is on taking care of people.

“Most of these people care about the dollar factor, and you do have to make money,” he said. “But we care about the people.”