When A Dependable Ride opened for business in North Tonawanda a year ago, it only had two drivers and its mission was to ensure those without transportation of their own never had to worry about missing a doctor's appointment.
But now, as of their one-year anniversary, which was observed on July 10, the company has expanded to employ and contract with numerous drivers.
According to Tina Sims, who helps in the office, their first six months in business were slow-rolling. They were just getting the business grounded, she said, and they were focused on getting their operation off the ground.
But about six months in, everything changed.
"(We've had) such growth in the first year," she said. "We definitely have doubled our business, probably a little more than that, in this year. We started off with two vehicles, we currently have 17."
She added that the business, which started with only herself and owner Nathan Merchant in the office, has now grown to include a billing and accounts rep Syreeta Williams, an HR Director Rachel Carr, a head of dispatch Tanika Baker along with Deshaad Williams as second dispatcher.
On Friday, A Dependable Ride hosted a grand reopening to celebrate its first year on the road, and the success they'd found along the way. They cut a ribbon outside their offices, located at 525 Wheatfield St., joined by their staff, drivers, local officials and members of the Chamber of Commerce.
A Dependable Ride provides transportation to and from medical appointments for those who are unable to get to appointments on their own, either because they cannot or do not drive or because they don't have access to public transportation.