Social Innovators and Economic Contributors to Connecticut
Connecticut’s largest, full-service taxi company, operating in Greater New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford areas, is celebrating its 30th year of service to Connecticut with a new name – M7, a company-wide rebranding, and the launch of the cutting-edge M7 App. We look forward to a year of special initiatives demonstrating allegiance to our loyal customer base and driver network.
Started in 1987, Bill Scalzi founded what was initially named “Metro Taxi” with 15 taxicabs.
His wife, Isabelle, entered the business years later introducing the URide Safe® Card, a student debit card offering safe transportation, an industry first of its kind.
Through continual re-investment in technology, an entrepreneurial approach and a human-touch service ethic, the company has grown to become the largest taxi fleet in Connecticut. The fleet is operated by highly trained independent contractor drivers and supported by a team of dedicated associates who expertly dispatch for other transportation groups in Connecticut and throughout the country.
Newly branded as M7, the home-spun enterprise; which has never had an employee layoff, continues to grow in many different market segments. During its 30-year operation, the 24/7, 365 company introduced a long list of innovative firsts to Connecticut’s marketplace and to industry best practices. Some examples include:
- The first to use a Global Positioning System (GPS), which has evolved from two-way radio transmission; to internet, wireless; to cloud-based mobile dispatch
- The first to incorporate in-vehicle security cameras for both driver and passenger safety
- The first wheelchair-accessible, ADA-compliant, on-demand transportation service that accommodates scooters, walkers and service animals 24/7, 365 and is environmentally-friendly
- The first company of its kind to offer an ADA-compliant, comprehensive driver-training program to foster customer safety, satisfaction and a totally inclusive service
- The first public-access, Compressed Natural Gas fueling station for all CNG vehicles (e.g. utility trucks, school buses, police cars and other municipal vehicles)
- Connecticut’s first mobile dispatch App, which began as a GPS-guided web technology and is now cloud-based, tracking rides in real-time weather and traffic conditions.
Bill & Isabelle Scalzi are widely recognized as pioneering advocates for those with disabilities who facilitated the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission dispatch wheelchair-accessible taxis in Manhattan, thereby enabling the expansion of accessible on-demand transportation and paving the way to the surrounding boroughs.
“As social entrepreneurs, we continually look for ways to help both business and communities thrive,” said Bill, who is President of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA), an international trade organization comprised of more than 1,000 transportation companies. ” We do that by creating new market niches that help everyone get to where they need to go whether it’s to accommodate daily practical needs or to greatly enhance their business and recreational travel,” he said.
Already the state’s largest provider of non-emergency medical transportation and a major supplier of rides for special needs students, the Scalzi’s envision business expansion in health care transport. Their M7 drivers – specially trained in ADA compliance and consumer etiquette – are in great demand as they offer personalized door-to-door service for customers needing assistance getting to and from their medical appointments.
“People ask me how can you remain competitive with such rapid change in the industry,?” said Isabelle, the company’s Vice President, who in 2013, was named by the TLPA as the Outstanding Contributor to Women in Transportation. “During our 30 years of business we continually invested in technologies that enabled us to lead the way in service, accessibility and customer satisfaction. Now, with new legislative support that updates antiquated regulations, we are free to modernize and innovate our service while staying true to our founding values of safety, reliability, customer dedication and providing dependable rides for all,” she explained.
The Scalzis are long-time members of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Milford Chamber of Commerce, West Haven Rotary and the West Haven Chamber of Commerce.
With its popular fleet of purpose-built, wheelchair-accessible vehicles – all powered by clean-burning Compressed Natural Gas – M7 will remain steadfast to its mission to expand freedom, independence and equality in transportation, and will continue to cater to student safety at the nine area colleges and universities it serves.