AYER -- Tim's Transport Co. is a for-hire ride service. Customers from the Ayer, Devens, Harvard and Shirley area can call on Tim's Transport for a ride to the Ayer train stop at Depot Square, to doctor's appointments and now to Logan Airport.
The selectmen voted on Jan. 24 to support owner Tim Holland's application to MassPort for permission to bring rides in and out of the Boston airport.
Not a taxi, Tim's Transport is a livery service. "Taxis cruise around looking for fares," said Holland. "You can hail them and they'll stop. I don't operate a taxi service. Customers must make a phone call or email me to make an appointment for a ride."
Tim's Transport can be reached at 978-660-1148 or by sending Holland an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holland said he's a one-man operation, and laughed when asked about his company's motto: "I'll drive."
"I just thought it had a ring to it but some may say 'Oh, I have to go to the airport' or 'Oh, I have to go to Boston,'" said Holland. "So I say 'I'll drive' and relieve that anxiety and relieve the thought of driving on Route 2 or the Mass Pike extension. I say 'I'll drive.'"
"It was intended to be a bit comical but also to let people know -- problem solved -- I'll drive," said Holland.
Holland provides the "I'll drive" assurance following his 30 years in insurance. Holland sold the Markham-Priest Insurance agency to his son-in-law, Joe Harrington, in 2011.
Following retirement, Holland said he was buzzing to do something new. "I looked around. I'm not a high-tech guy. But I noticed over the years that people say there's no transportation around here."
"I'd hear people say 'I wish I can take a bus or a taxi,'" said Holland, who lives in Ayer but was raised in Winthrop. "In Boston, we'd jump on the T as kids with no concerns about safety. It was reliable, safe, clean transportation."
But in suburban/fringe rural Ayer, "it can be a pretty long walk when it's 18 degrees outside or it's raining," said Holland. "I think the need is tremendous."
"Sometimes you think, well, this is America and everyone drives. Well guess what -- not everyone drives or owns a car."
Some clients need his service for a temporary stretch of time. Case in point is Doug Becker of Ayer, who suffered a neck injury in November and has relied on Tim's Transport to get to and from doctors' appointments.
"I use Tim's Transport two times a week. I started using him back in December for trips to physical therapy in Leominster," said Becker. "He picks me up at my door, takes me there. Sometimes Tim waits for me and goes shopping and brings a book and he's there to bring me home 45 minutes later."
"Tim's been great," said Becker. "It's taken a lot of pressure off of family and friends for rides to appointments."
Boston traffic is a turn-off to some. "I think that's what creates the opportunity -- doing things that other people don't want to do," said Holland. "People will pay a reasonable amount of money to avoid things they don't want to do."
"It does take a certain temperament," laughed Holland. "You have to remain calm at all times. Another key thing I stress on airport runs is that you cannot leave too early. I don't want the tension and I don't want my passenger to have that tension of leaving at the last minute."
"Think of the time you need and add an hour to it," advised Holland. A passenger from Shirley needed to get to Logan for a morning flight. With rush-hour traffic, the hourlong trip took two hours. "That's nothing extraordinary. That's just Boston. Allow time for the ride, checking bags and security -- anything. That takes the heartburn out of it."
Holland said that when aboard, he does not share rides. "I'm not going to pick you up in Harvard and say 'By the way, I'm picking up another person going to the airport from Ayer. You'll see the larger limo fleets doing that, but I do not. You are getting a private driver."
And stops along the way are OK. "I'll stop at any time for any reason," said Holland. "If you want to go from the hospital to drop a prescription, I won't say 'That's extra.' I'll say 'Of course, let's drop off your prescription.' I try to provide more than just transportation from point A to point B."
Follow Mary Arata at twitter.com/maryearata.