Enforce policy or drop regulations!

I wish that I had been notified that the new taxi regulations either no longer apply or have been extended past the due date of October 1st.We at Abraxi Taxi struggled and with great expense were able to get our fleet to the safety and mechanical standards set forth by the city and the now defunct Sax taxi.

If we do not have a level playing field which has already been skewed by Lyft and Uber there is little reason or incentive to expand and hire more drivers to spend their money here in Saint Augustine. Nor is there any money left in the kitty to give back to our community. Is there any rhyme or reason to enforcing the regulations in place?

So, my questions are why should we as company be the only legitimate taxi service in this great city? Why is this code not enforced? Other cab companies, pedicabs, shuttles and gas-powered golf carts are not in compliance.

The biggest question however is if Uber/Lyft are not taxis {which indeed we all know they are} why are they permitted to run around around town with taxi lights? They are not only stealing from us they are also breaking the ride sharing rules. Also, many of these unfortunate souls do not even have Florida plates let alone insurance at all.

So please tell me where I can find a copy of the taxi codes and what is being done to enforce what’s on the book if anything, I would rather not waste anyone’s time at a commission meeting. If rules and regulations are no longer required that is also fine and we can make a better determination on how we prepare for next year. Again, wish Denise May the best in her newest career venture.

Ponce and Philly

There really is a lot to do here in Saint Augustine so let’s try to find a few links to take you to many festivals and tourists attractions we have going on. March really kicks it off with the festivals and concerts, but that does not mean the Florida winter isn’t loaded with fun.
Now you finally flew in via Frontier from Philadelphia to escape the weather. You start noticing that everything seems to be Ponce this Ponce that. Who exactly is this Ponce de Leon character and why is he so revered here in Saint Augustine?
In Philadelphia you have a Columbus street and even a parade for Christopher who in 1492 sailed the ocean blue. We at Abraxi taxi tried to find out some more about the founder of our historic city and would like to share a bit of his life. He definitely was a Renaissance man, but at the detriment to many.
Being from the Northeast and watching the many parades, what in the world is a better spectacle than the Mummers, in Philadelphia? I think having a tribute to Ponce De Leon would be awesome. My first obstacle was that I could not find his true birthday so we looked further into his life and especially his connection with Christopher Columbus, and as it turned out in a weird twist, Philadelphia.
John Meehan from his famous Irish pub on the Bayfront started the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, we from Abraxi Taxi service and airport shuttle, could propose a similar tribute to our Father Mr. Ponce. How about boarding a Frontier flight nonstop to Saint Augustine airport armed with those awesome costumes and banjos? What could be better than doing it with Philadelphia/Mummers style? We could have those marching bands decked out with feathers strumming and strutting along the Matanzas Inlet with cannons firing from the Castillo de San Marcos. But we are getting ahead of ourselves and with all the festivals, movie premiers, museums, concerts where can we find an open date.
So let’s start with our man Ponce.

Legacy (This is from Bio)
“Juan Ponce de León was a product of his time—ambitious, hardworking and ruthless when the occasion called for it. He built a small financial empire that helped advance Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, and he might have gone even further had he been able to avoid political intrigue with the Columbus family.
Many historical sources agree that he treated the native people under his control better than most conquistadors. However, enslavement and disease took a very heavy toll on these populations and he faced several violent uprisings during his tenure as governor.
Ponce de León will forever be associated with the fountain of youth, even though there is no record that he deliberately searched for it. Though he acknowledges the existence of the fable in his memoir, he was by all accounts far too practical a man to waste time on such a fantasy amidst the building of his fortune.”
So the conquistadors were generally religious people that in pursuit of their own greedy goal for gold and treasure ENSLAVED and mistreated the local populations they were trying to conquer. No doubt this was for the glory of god and the salvation of souls and perhaps some actually believed this. But after doing some research on the Spanish Explorers even Christopher Columbus, it really becomes apparent that greed, power and self-aggrandizement were the true reasons. And the natives, as if their fate was not bad enough, suffered from all forms of European diseases the deadliest being small pox.
It does seem that Ponce de Leon came from a nice family that was educated and cultured. He did come to the Americas with Columbus on his 2nd voyage. He was governor of Puerto Rico and was 4 feet 11 inches. And considered tall for his time. We have a statue of a life sized Ponce at the Plaza de la Constitucion that is exactly like the one in Olde San Juan, Puerto Rico. The scholars praise Ponce for his treatment of the slaves, but do not forget Columbus last voyage was back to Spain in chains, for what at the times were crimes against humanity. And it would be later in Ponces life that the sons of Christopher Columbus would thwart his ambitions.
It seems that after Spain expelled the Moors many soldiers of fortune became unemployed but several including Juan Ponce de Leon were able to gain access to the New World. Yes, there was a Muslim problem and under employment over 500 years ago. Yet several thousand boarded ships and set sail from Spain to Hispaniola, what is now modern day Haiti/Dominican Republic. And it really starts here for Ponce and his quest for fame and fortune.
The trip took only 3 weeks and there were slaves to be exploited, souls to be saved and gold to line one’s pockets. Ponce was all in. The priests did expect the natives to be taught reading and writing by the new masters and maybe because of the times this behavior was condoned. The saving of souls no matter the cost. No doubt Juan was an opportunist that had the King’s ear and even some limited support from the Columbus family. This almost sounds Soprano-esque but with little to no oversight he was in defacto the Don of Dons.
Juan did seem impressed with the Indian population fighting skills and like a Don Quixote took notice and defeated the windmills of the new wild west. And to this day is considered the 1st conquistador and hero of Puerto Rico.So along with other soldiers of fortune like Cortez and De Soto they managed to wreak havoc on one civilization, but this laid the foundation for a new world order that continues to this day.
“Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon founded the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and sought to find the Fountain of Youth. He gained wealth, fame and fortune – often at the brutal expense of native populations.”
Perhaps the lust of more power and more gold drove him to even more expeditions into Florida where he eventually brought a gun to a poison arrow fight which he lost. He was able to make it to Havana Cuba where he died from his wounds. There is much more about him on the History Channel, Wikipedia and Biography but that I think this sums up the man. In his world he would be considered a brave an honorable man, it must have taken courage and a brass set to adventure into the unknown. He discovered Florida on Palm Sunday so I would suggest this should be the day we set aside for the Ponce de Leon/Southern Mummers extravaganza.
Ponce de Leon has one other Philadelphia connection and that is to the esteemed Benjamin Franklin. Ponce is credited with the discovery of the Gulf stream. ”This was the first encounter with the Gulf Stream where it reaches maximum force between the Florida coast and the Bahamas. Because of the powerful boost provided by the current, it would soon become the primary route for eastbound ships leaving the Spanish Indies bound for Europe.” But it was Benjamin Franklin that actually took his genius and performed scientific measurements that actually charted this ocean river naming it the Gulf Stream.
Now all that booty from the New World was heading back to Europe via the Florida straits and the Gulf Stream. Of course we live in paradise but for a few months a year we can experience the Hurricane season. We have great forecasters to warn us when a storm might be brewing but 500 years ago not even Nostradamus was predicting weather. (The fact that he was French and hated the Spanish could be a reason.) So many of those Spanish Galleons sunk, left billions of dollars in gold and silver bullion on the ocean floor. So here comes Saint Augustine’s final connection to Philadelphia in the name of Pat Croce, treasure hunter. You can tour his pirate museum right here in the historic city.
So let’s go over our connections to Philadelphia. Nonstop seasonal flights to Saint Augustine. The airport to the downtown hotels costs about 10 to 15 dollars if you were to use a taxi cab or there are plenty of rental car agencies to choose from. Next we have a relationship between Ponce and that superstar Ben Franklin and the gulf stream. Abraxi Taxi’s next adventure is to petition the U.S Mint as Ponce deserves his portrait on at least a coin. Preferably a gold doubloon 3rd string in this symphony. Is Pat Croce of Allan Iverson and 76er fame, now a pirate expert looking for Ponces booty? Is it too much to ask that the Mummers also honor us? Giving us a quadruple double.
Easter usually comes in April so we really should just pick a date. Early May might be best. The first Saturday. The weather will be ideal. Not too hot, not too cold. Those Mummer arrays would be miserable in the Summertime. This could kick off Player Championship Golf Tournament in Ponte Vedra, an ideal time, and still not interfere with Bill Murray’s Charity Golf Event at his family’s restaurant Caddy shack in late March. Of course the Parade would start at the Fountain of Youth and continue on San Marco. Yes, that is the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not on the left. Up West Castillo past the Best Western Spanish Quarter, ending up at Francis Field.
The Mummers are in of themselves a show. A stage could be set up, we could have more performances and of course an awards ceremony. For those of you that have not been blessed to watch anything as unique and creative as this New Year’s Day tradition you really are missing something special. Think Liberace and those 20s feather strippers on ecstasy, drunk on Blackberry brandy freestyling it down main street America. Some very talented people who work long hours and spend beaucoup de bucks for one show. This is a great opportunity to enjoy our great city of Saint Augustine and what we consider wonderful weather.
At the next city council meeting lets come out and support the Parade for Ponce. We can set up a committee to oversee the implementation and lobby our legislature for support. They were able to plan our 450th birthday party and a huge Mumford and Sons concert very efficiently, why not this event? Some laws like open containers should be relaxed and traffic would have to be controlled. There could be a few designated taxi stands and special shuttles. It would be an awesome tribute to our founding father, a truly sui generis festival, and with help from other Ponce de Leon groupies this could become something special.
Maybe we could invite the King and Queen from Spain! This is a bit about Spanish history and we actually do reenactments of the British Pirate Drake overtaking the Spanish here in Saint Augustine. If you love history especially American history it really all started here in Saint Augustine Florida, and whether or not Ponce discovered the Fountain of Youth or was even the driving factor on him choosing to visit here, the two will always be connected.
So I vote to give tribute to Ponce de Leon with a special celebration here in Saint John’s County Florida and let’s do it with some Yankee flair and show Saint Augustine how we party in Philadelphia. That is another thing we have in common because after all we are a quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem. But do not drink and drive! Call Abraxi Taxi, we get you where you need to Go!

Saint Augustine and the taxi scene!

Abraxi taxi has been servicing Saint Augustine area for going on 10 years, now. We are a small, privately owned, full-service cab company. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. We can get you to local restaurants and bars, tour departure locations, or one of the many airports here in the northeast part of Florida.

Abraxi Taxi is fully compliant with all of the regulations put forth by the City of Saint Augustine. This includes proper business and hack licensing, commercial taxi insurance, and the official city medallion. Our cars are inspected by the city garage, where a certified master mechanic performs checks and inspection of all the essentials related to engine and safety, as well as brakes and tires, windows and seat belts. We think we have the nicest, newest and safest livery. And into our well-kept vehicles we place the most knowledgeable professional drivers in town. Our cars even smell nice! That’s because we keep them clean and also enforce a non-smoking policy.

We do not use taxi-meters. Rather, we base your fare on a zone or flat rate basis. This usually benefits the customer, since no matter what, the price quoted will always be the price you pay. Traffic in the historic portion of the Ancient City can be brutal. The Bridge of Lions goes up many times each day, and often it seems to go up at the most inopportune times. No matter, the flat rate that we’ve quoted you will be what you pay. This can really favor the passenger when using our airport shuttles.

We charge just 75.00 from Downtown Saint Augustine to the Jacksonville and Daytona airport. Other airports – those further away from the city center – cost more. The brunt of our airport transportation is to Jacksonville International (“JAX”), which is about 50 miles from Saint Augustine – close to the Georgia border. Driving to JAX can take as little as an hour and 15 minutes, but it can also take longer if there is traffic, an accident, or construction on one of the highways. We can pick up at the Daytona airport and for a few extra bucks bring you to the beautiful Castillo Real on Saint Augustine beach.

Keep in mind that Frontier airlines also has seasonal nonstop flights from Chicago and Philadelphia to Northeast Florida Regional Airport NFRA here in Saint Augustine. There are many car rental businesses here but if you need or just prefer to go with a cab, call Abraxi Taxi. We are properly licensed to pick up passengers at the gates.

We will provide our shuttle anywhere in Saint John’s county but our base fare of 75.00 is from the downtown area. When you book with us it is your private cab, so you won’t need to be sharing with strangers. A bit of privacy can sometimes be a good thing!

Abraxi taxi accepts cash and all major credit cards. A few of our drivers can also accept Pay Pal. If you feel the driver did a great job, then tipping is also an option. And all of our drivers can process credit cards using their smart phones.

As an added bonus our cars are all late-model. And because our drivers all live in Saint Augustine they not only know how to get to places the fastest way, but they will make sure you are getting your drinks and dinner at a reputable establishment.

In fact, Abraxi taxi drivers are like having your local Trip Advisor. Saint Augustine has SO much history to share! After all, we are the oldest city in country. Back in the 1500s Ponce De Leon came here looking for the Fountain of Youth and named us “La Florida.” That fountain is still here, and well worth a visit.

If you are staying for a few days or more we highly recommend that you check out the Red or Green train/trolley tours to see the many sites we have to offer. Ghosts abound for the paranormal fanatic. The Alligator Farm is worthwhile and has zip lines for the young at heart. So take a sip of that water from Ponce’s quest and have a blast. The old jail – especially on one of the special Gravestone Ghost Tours – is really spooky. They put you in the hoosegow, then throw away the key. Some other haunted venues include the lighthouse and Spanish Military Museum located on Aviles street – the oldest street in America. We recently celebrated our 450th birthday. And with all those years come a treasure trove of museums. Try the Lighter or Villa Zorayda — plenty to do when the weather does not cooperate.

Your visit here will not be complete until you visit our fort, The Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental US. This ancient fort is constructed with coquina. Coquina is a type of sedimentary rock composed of shells of mollusks, making it able to absorb the force of cannonballs. Because of this the fort was never breached.

If you like adventure you may want to book a spot on the pirate ship Black Raven for some mock battles and “arrgghhhh-rated” fun. And then there’s the pirate museum, owned by Pat Croce of Philadelphia 76ers fame.

Other outings to fill your days: take a trip to one of our beautiful beaches – Vilano or Saint Augustine. Many great restaurants and bars to choose from. For waterfront dining try Caps on the water or the Conch house. We can also highly recommend the Reef restaurant – especially for Sunday brunch. Take a walk on the pier, or charter a deep-sea fishing trip. Saint Augustine has many venues that are popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties, with a wide range of beautifully appointed and reasonably priced ocean front houses for rent.

If you are staying in Crescent Beach you may want to try out Marineland, a place that is both fun and educational. Here you can swim with the dolphins. The original Flipper TV show was filmed here, and this was also the location of some fascinating experiments conducted during the second world war. The University of Florida now runs Marineland and is just an hour away from St. Augustine, in Gainesville.

Recently opened is the Saint Augustine Aquarium snorkel adventure, where the truly adventure-loving can swim with sharks and explore for underwater treasure, all the while snorkeling with an abundance of beautiful fish. Does it get any more exciting?

Years ago some great explorers came here looking for treasure, and there is still much treasure to be found in Saint John’s County.

Are you a golfer? Then you know that the 5th and richest golf tournament is held in May at the Sawgrass Marriot resort in Ponte Vedra. Here you can tee off on the world famous 17th. And if the Sawgrass fees are a little too steep for your budget, try the Squire or King and Bear – two other top notch courses located in World Golf Village. They are about a 20-minute drive from downtown Saint Augustine. The World Golf Hall of Fame and Bill Murray’s Caddy Shack restaurant are also located in the Village.

If you’re a fan of music and live performance you may want to check out the Ponte Vedra Beach concert hall – just a short drive North. And of course there is our very own Saint Augustine Amphitheater, a gorgeous outdoor musical treasure here on the island. Just a few of the up and coming shows that will kick off in 2017: Foreigner, Kansas, and Willy Nelson. The season ends in November, so check out the Amphitheater’s website for early tickets and special events.

For business meetings there’s the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center – superb location place for those special company meetings. It is a bit of a drive from Saint Augustine but the Renaissance Marriott offers golf packages and limited free shuttle service to the outlet malls and downtown Saint Augustine.

Taxicabs rates here are among the lowest in the country, so there is no reason to drink and drive. Keep your car parked and call a cab. You can get your car later or we can even bring the car to your house. If you know you might have one glass of wine too many at Michael’s Tasting Room, just call us! We’re more than happy to serve as your designated driver.

As a full service 24-hour cab service we also offer a range of auxiliary services. Like delivery! Maybe you ran out of cigarettes or milk or eggs. We are happy to pick it up any purchase and bring it to you. Some drivers carry battery cables and can come out and give you a jump. We also can provide car transport, bring your vehicle to any location. Our fees will vary depending on distance. So no matter the issue if we can provide our services in any way just ask. Need your student picked up from Flagler College and brought to the Jacksonville Airport? Feel free to call and we will process the credit card via phone and ensure the safe transport your son or daughter.
Abraxi also specializes in late night airport transportation when the other taxi services are fast asleep.

Saint Augustine is a big wedding town and we have taxicab vans for large groups. Plan on Abraxi Taxi to handle all your needs, from the airport to the wedding to the reception to the hotel, and back to the airport. Call ahead to make a reservation or visit our website for complete rates and reviews.

Regardless of where you choose to go, remember that even though you are in Florida (The Sunshine State!), the weather can be fickle. So on a rainy day, you can visit the San Sebastian Winery. They offer tours, wine tasting, including some of Florida’s finest. A short walk away is Whetstones Chocolate Factory, where you can sample everyone’s favorite confection. And then just around the corner is our Distillery and the Ice Plant. Tours are conducted and you can even purchase a rare bottle of their Florida bourbon. In the adjoining building, you can enjoy a wide selection of craft cocktails and appetizers. Feel free to dine with gusto and then call Abraxi Taxi for your ride back to the Casa Monica.

At Abraxi Taxi we are honored with the tasks of transporting the guests that visit us here in the Ancient city and appreciate it that you are supporting small businesses like us that are the core of our country’s free enterprise – its lifeblood. So when you come and visit, drop a dime and call us for timely and prompt service. And always remember:

Abraxi Taxi gets you where you need to Go!