by Deborah Notis
Jason Rosenzweig, owner of Castle Cabs, grew up on Long Island and worked in his family’s New York City-based taxicab business since he was a young child. So when he moved to Armonk ten years ago, his parents asked why he wanted to move “upstate.”
For Rosenzweig, the answer was simple. He wanted his family to live in a community that had a neighborhood feel, a town in which you could walk into any store and see a friendly and familiar face. For his family, Armonk is the perfect tight-knit, nurturing, small town community in which he and his wife can happily raise their two daughters. His daughters, now 11 and 13 years old, attend Byram Hills schools and spend their non-school hours dancing and playing the occasional game of golf with their father.
But there was one thing that Rosenzweig felt Armonk was missing. “This town has grown tremendously since we moved here. With the restaurant scene in Armonk becoming more vibrant, and the town growing and becoming a destination for Westchester residents, I saw a need for a safe, convenient, and reliable mode of transportation in our area,” states Rosenzweig. So he leveraged his years of experience in his family’s business to create Castle Cabs, North Castle’s answer to UBER.
Rosenzweig created an app that lets customers reserve a cab for a future appointment or call a cab for an immediate pickup. Customers create an account with Castle Cabs, and they can securely pay for their ride and track the ride via the app. Rosenzweig priced rides competitively, giving a flat rate for certain, more popular destinations like the North White Plains train station and Westchester County Airport. All rides include tax and tip in the price of the trip.
Launched in October 2014, Castle Cabs is Armonk’s answer to limo service in a taxicab package. The drivers, who are all TLC licensed, fingerprinted, and drug-tested, are required to wear khaki pants, a blue hat, and a blue shirt with a Castle Cabs logo. Rosenzweig employs 12 drivers, each of whom drives one of his new hybrid four-seater vehicles or new seven-seater minivans.
“Castle Cabs provides our town with the next level of service. We go the extra mile for our customers. They are part of our family,” according to Rosenzweig. He proudly states that his drivers don’t just leave you at the door; they make sure you safely and happily reach your destination. Even if it means getting out of the car to walk a senior into a doctor’s appointment or waiting until a group of kids give the driver a “thumbs up,” telling him that he can leave them at the movie theater. On any given day, Castle Cabs accommodates 65 to 80 trips, servicing many residents who have become regular customers. These trips include taking seniors to appointments, commuters to local train stations, couples to and from dinners, travelers to the airports, and children to afterschool activities, Bar Mitzvahs, and the movies.
Rosenzweig says that residents feel safe putting children in his cars because so many of them know him from town. To add to their security, the Castle Cab app enables people to track the rides. When it comes to the kids, Rosenzweig tries to send the same driver to the same family all the time, giving families an added level of comfort. “I have kids, so I understand. My daughters and their friends use the cabs all the time. I want to feel secure when children are in a car.”
As his business flourishes, Rosenzweig is becoming involved in the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. The community-based organization enabled him to get to know other local business owners and to become further entrenched in Armonk’s thriving business district. This year, he co-chaired the Chamber’s May 12th Citizen of the Year golf event honoring Sam Morell, the co-founder of Armonk’s Smalltown Theater.
Rosenzweig is pleasantly surprised by the positive response that he’s received from his community. “I knew I was going to put us out there, but I didn’t know where this would take us. Now I see that North Castle residents really trust us.” He plans to leverage that trust to promote his “Get Home Safely” program, suggesting that his neighbors should leave their keys at home, enjoy their night out, and rely on Castle Cabs to get them to and from their destinations safely.
In the future, Rosenzweig hopes to earn the trust of residents in nearby towns. Long-term, he is contemplating potential partnerships with other local taxicab companies as he expands to service Armonk’s neighboring towns. Right now, Rosenzweig is happy to be serving the North Castle community. It looks like Rosenzweig made the right decision when he decided to move “upstate” to Armonk.
Deborah Notis, a writer and co-owner of gamechanger, LLC, is looking forward to Castle Cabs expanding to Pleasantville to help transport her four boys to their sporting events.