Darryl Collins, Owner, Friendly Cab
(Grandson of founder Ralph Collins)
3022 22nd Street South, Arlington, VA
Interview conducted by Pete Winslow, March 17, 2017
Founded in 1947 by Ralph Collins during segregation to provide service to black customers, Friendly Cab has been a staple of the Nauck neighborhood in Arlington. Ralph Collins was an active community member, innovator, and entrepreneur. When Friendly Cab started in 1947, it had a specific goal of providing transportation to African American residents that were discriminated against because of race. The business has remained successful and in operation ever since. The company passed through several family members and Ralph’s grandson Darryl Collins and his sister Vicky now run the company. The business is well known in the area,
especially because of its history of focusing on customer service.
The conversation touches on the history of Friendly Cab and the Green Valley neighborhood, as well as the changes Arlington has gone through in the last 70 years. Darryl Collins, joined by his sister Vicky, discussed what it means to be a small business owner (specifically an African American business) and the challenges and opportunities that small business owners may experience in the future.
Jackson, Phillip. July 2014, Meeting the Community’s Needs: Arlington Friendly Cab Company. Boundary Stones.
“Back in ’48, black people couldn’t be born in Arlington County… And black people couldn’t catch white cabs. So [my grandfather] started a transport service to transport any kind of medical transports to Howard University Hospital.”Darryl Collins, owner
“What we do is keep in contact with a lot of people. It’s word of mouth that keeps these businesses going.”Darryl Collins, owner
Full Interview on Arlington’s WERA 96.7