This Taxi Will Take You on a Ride Unlike Any Other! It Looks Totally Worth It


Jon Barnes has managed to totally convert a plain old checkered taxi cab into an experience of a lifetime – light and sound rolled into one single ride. He called it ‘Ultimate taxi’.

Barnes started transforming his taxi since 1983. It has seen several transformations since then. Its recent theme is inspired by ‘night life’ where lasers, synthesizers and an internet-connected computer are incorporated.

taxi2*image source: Aspen’s Ultimate Taxi via Facebook

In his website, he states that a group ride costs $200, and it is recommended that they make reservation first.

The taxi ride is a 45-minute musical, magical adventure around Aspen, Colorado,” Barnes explains on his website. “The Ultimate Taxi ride is a rock concert, ‘amusement park’ ride, magic show, movie ride, and 3D laser light show. The Ultimate Taxi ride also includes toys, photos, rainbow glasses and a cool page in this world famous site, containing photos from your adventure.

Barnes grew up in the neighborhood of Greenwich Village. He claims that he was mostly a misfit at school and in his neighborhood. His interests were clearly elsewhere. Growing up, he liked visiting the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History to watch their laser light shows, set to the music of Pink Floyd or the Beatles.

taxi3*image source: Aspen’s Ultimate Taxi via Facebook

When you grow up with Laserium, the Beatles and ‘Star Trek’, you want to build a rock ‘n’ roll rocket ship,” he said. “For me, the car is an extension of my mind,” he explained. “The car allows me to be an engineer and an inventor and a dreamer. I’m free to explore the world of lights and sound and happiness. Hopefully, I’m creating memories that people cherish. I’m just trying to make town a little more fun and colorful than it would be if I wasn’t here.

He bought a 1978 Checker Marathon and enjoyed the taxi business for a while. The free-spirited man eventually grew tired of sitting around waiting for the next fare. So he added a keyboard to the taxi, which he would play in his free time and shove under the seat when he had to drive. In a long run, he stopped hiding the keyboard and played it for his customers.

Over past years, he keeps adding more and more equipment until it completely transform into the Ultimate Taxi. Later on, he found himself entertaining his customers over a roller-coaster simulation on a video screen.

It would be more fun to be an amusement ride around the mall, competing with the horse carriages, than giving people a ride up to Snowmass Village,” he said. “I decided to go and sell fun.

taxi1*image source: Aspen’s Ultimate Taxi via Facebook

Soon enough, Barnes highly unusual taxi gain media attention and been booked by many people. His clienteles includes celebrities like George Lucas, Ringo Starr, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Costner and Michael Douglas.

Unfortunately, the old taxi is reaching the end of its lifespan.

30 years has taken a toll on the Ultimate Taxi, and it’s quickly becoming unsafe to drive,” said Barnes. And safety is his number one priority. He actually drives the taxi at very low speeds, “because the first person I run into is going to be the last show the sheriff ever lets me do.

But the good news is he’s planning to build a ‘New Ultimate Taxi’ for the 21st century, for which he’s trying to raise funds through Kickstarter. His goal is to raise $50,000 and he has about 40 days to go.

*sources: Jon Barnes via YouTube.com

This Taxi Will Take You on a Ride Unlike Any Other! It Looks Totally Worth It

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