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Taxi Featured In Internet World Magazine July 1996

   Taxi Featured In Internet World Magazine July 1996 - First there was Jon Barnes, taxi driver. Now there is Jon Barnes, owner of the Ultimate Taxi, a service conceived by an imagination unrestrained by the four doors of the Checker cab. When he first started out as a cab driver in Aspen, Colo., said Barnes, “I had lots of fun gadgets in my cab, including a police scanner, sound effects machine, Casio keyboard, things with flashing lights, and a killer sound system.” Sometime after that, Barnes thought, “Hey, you have all this wild stuff in your cab, why not go official and give people the wildest ride they’ve ever had in their life?”

Taxi Featured In Internet World Magazine July 1996
   First there was Jon Barnes, taxi driver. Now there is Jon Barnes, owner of the Ultimate Taxi, a service conceived by an imagination unrestrained by the four doors of the Checker cab. When he first started out as a cab driver in Aspen, Colo., said Barnes, “I had lots of fun gadgets in my cab, including a police scanner, sound effects machine, Casio keyboard, things with flashing lights, and a killer sound system.” Sometime after that, Barnes thought, “Hey, you have all this wild stuff in your cab, why not go official and give people the wildest ride they’ve ever had in their life?”

  So Barnes quit the taxi business and went into the Ultimate Taxi business. His modified taxi now has a light show, more musical instruments, dry ice, and magic tricks. He drives with his left forearm while entertaining passengers, who pay $15 for a half-hour ride. (“I had Lee Iaccoca once,” said Barnes, “and Billy Preston even played a duet with me.”) In pictures, you can scarcely make out the steering wheel, so stuffed with gadgetry is his taxi.

   Now a computer-savvy photographer friend has helped add one more to his repertoire-a digital camera linked to the internet. Barnes takes pictures of his clientele and will soon be putting them on a web site at http://www.ultimatetaxi.com – the better to sell them t-shirts later. With some improvements, perhaps passengers will be able to see themselves on the web while they’re still riding in the taxi. (Barnes’s cellular modem can’t quite pull off that trick yet.) But Barnes also wants to deliver the Ultimate Taxi experience to folks who can’t make it out to ski country, so he is planning a far-out assortment of online gadgets, including some pages you’ll need special glasses to see. And of course he’s planning an online souvenir stand. “The trunk of my taxi is where I sell souvenirs,” he says. “I’ll be able to fit a lot more stuff into a virtual trunk online.”

Internet World Magazine July 1996 Cover


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