Specialized Transportation Services (STS) and Tipsy Taxi both started out as two separate commercial units of the Associated Students of University California, Davis (ASUCD). In 2006, they merged in to a single commercial unit called STS/Tipsy Taxi.
Tipsy Taxi was established in 1985 by the ASUCD to provide undergraduate students with on-call transportation services during evening and early morning hours. The purpose was to provide students with a reliable and convenient mode of safe transportation between various locations throughout Davis.
STS was established in 2003 by the ASUCD in partnership with Unitrans. Its goal is to provide transportation services for special events and functions to various student and campus-related organizations, as well as to any member of the general public. STS utilizes Unitrans operators and vehicles, but provides non-fixed route service for private events (to and from destinations as far as 30 miles away from Davis) for a cost. In 2007, a federal law came in to effect which dampened STS’ effectiveness to operate as a self-sufficient commercial unit. The federal law is known as the “Final Charter Rule”, and it requires that, since STS is a recipient of federal funds, STS must make each offer to a prospective customer – known as a bid – available to all private charter companies in the surrounding Yolo County area.
For a few years, STS/Tipsy Taxi operated the Amtrak Shuttle service which would pick up students from the Amtrak station on Sundays (and certain Mondays) when there was no Unitrans fixed route service, and take them to any bus stop in Davis. The Amtrak Shuttle leaves the Amtrak Station at several specific times corresponding with arriving Amtrak Capital Corridor arrival times. The service still operates, but in 2008 it was absorbed by Unitrans for budgetary reasons. For more information, please consult the Unitrans Special Services site.
STS/Tipsy Taxi also briefly partnered with the now defunct U-DASH shuttle program in 2009. The shuttle was not directly affiliated with the ASUCD, but Tipsy Taxi provided a number of minibuses and operators for the program. U-DASH was cancelled in March of 2010 following a decision made by the Davis Downtown Business Association.
2011 saw numerous changes to STS/Tipsy Taxi. The ASUCD Senate approved a capital expense bill to purchase a new Tipsy Taxi van to help phase out the older more outdated models. Spring of 2011 saw the return of Tipsy Taxi service on Thursday nights which was cut back in 2005 for budget reasons. And lastly, Fall of 2011 marked the creation of this website which, among other things, allowed passengers to request rides online via a direct chat service with the Tipsy Taxi supervisors. The future is certainly bright as charter sales continue to exponentially increase and Tipsy Taxi becomes increasingly more efficient.
In Fall 2013, Angeltrax Copilot Onboard Surveillance Systems were installed on all Tipsy Taxi vehicles. This was made possible by the sponsorship of the UCD Police Department. These systems assist Tipsy Taxi to provide a safe and secure environment for passengers and operators. In Winter 2014, Tipsy Taxi began the process of purchasing a brand new 12-Passenger van to replenish its aging fleet. Funding for the vehicle was made possible by the collective effort of UCD Police Department and Student Health and Counseling Services. Along with the two 12-Passenger vans purchased in the past two years, Tipsy Taxi is looking to modernize its entire fleet to maximize usability and minimize operational cost; as well as an effort to preserve the environment with smaller, cleaner and more efficient vehicles.
In Spring 2015, the UC Davis Police Department donated funds to Tipsy Taxi in order to start a collaboration between UCDPD’s SafeRide and STS Tipsy Taxi. Starting Fall 2015, Tipsy Taxi will be free for UCD students and faculty members. Tipsy Taxi has now implemented the TapRide app, which allows riders to request rides via their smartphone.