Franklin County Transport Owner Ivan Munoz

Ivan Munoz, owner and driver for Franklin County Transport LLC, stands next to his van Sept. 16 at the Washington Riverfront.

When Ivan Munoz moved to Franklin County from Miami nearly 14 years ago, he immediately saw a need for a taxi service.

Beyond Yo Cab in Pacific, there were few options locally, with most people stranded if they couldn’t drive themselves.

Most Uber and Lyft drivers don’t come this far out from St. Louis, and although some wineries have their own trolley or shuttle, public transportation is basically nonexistent.

After riding trains and buses everywhere in Miami and New York City, where he’s from, it was a massive change for Munoz, who worked temporary jobs for a while before deciding to drive for Uber and Lyft in 2014.

Although he said he loved setting his own hours, Munoz grew unhappy with the way the rideshare apps treat their drivers, taking much of the profits and leaving little for the people who drive.

So last year, Munoz launched his own service, Franklin County Transport, with two vans.

Rides are priced based on mileage and time of day, and he said he makes sure they’re comparable to other services. A trip to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, for example, costs just over $100, which is comparable to Uber and Lyft. 

Munoz only accepts cash, Venmo, PayPal and Cash App, with most riders finding the service through his social media pages or word of mouth, as Munoz been busy introducing himself at many local bars, hotels and wineries. 

He said he’s averaging around 15 to 20 local rides per week, although local weddings provide an opportunity to shuttle several vans’ worth of guests home from the same venue, and during those busy weekends Munoz said he’ll provide up to 100 rides. 

Munoz said he supplements his income by continuing to drive for Uber and Lyft in the St. Louis area when demand for local rides is low.

“If I get a phone call from Franklin County, I’ll tell them ‘I’ll try to be there as quick as I can,’ “ Munoz said. “I prefer to stay in Franklin County.”