For nearly a century, Bayside’s has been shuttling Queens residents all across the five boroughs and beyond.
The auto service, located at 212-35 42nd Ave., was founded in 1914 by William Kelly, a Manhattan-based yellow cab driver who moved out to Bayside to form his own car service.
Kelly left the business to his son, William Jr., who was then succeeded by Edward and Eileen Kelly.
Caitlin Kelly said she will be the fourth generation of her family to operate the car service once her parents retire.
“I’ve been working on learning the ins and outs of the business,” she said. “My parents are still the ones in charge, but I’ve been doing the accounting and billing.”
Richard Pearlman, the auto service’s manager, said Kelly’s currently has an assortment of 14-passenger vans, town cars, minivans and other vehicles that transport customers to anywhere in the five boroughs, Long Island and, occasionally, as far as Buffalo.
“We pride ourselves on our dependability and our respect of people’s appointments and time,” Pearlman said. “We believe we are a step above other local car services. Families trust us with their kids. We have a lot of people call from out of state to help with their elderly relatives, who have given up their licenses and need a safe, reliable form of transportation. We’re very sensitive to people’s needs.”
He said the company also undertakes a number of corporate jobs, such as transporting youngsters to or providing shuttles for events.
Kelly’s has flat rates for trips to specific sites, such as LaGuardia Airport ($26) or John F. Kennedy International Airport ($36).
Customers who are picked up in Bayside will pay a $6 flat rate for a ride to the Bay Terrace shopping center, Windsor Park or Springfield Boulevard.
Rates vary for different parts of Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and other locales.
“Everything varies by zone,” Pearlman said. “We go everywhere and try to make things as fiscally prudent as possible, so we can get ongoing business from people. We are aware of the economic times, so we try our best to keep our prices as stable as possible.”
Kelly said the car service has a diverse group of drivers, including men, women, veterans, former cab drivers and city residents who have never driven professionally but were assisted by Kelly’s in obtaining a license from the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The company is currently searching for new drivers to add to its dispatch.
Pearlman, who started at the company 17 years ago, said many of the drivers have worked for Kelly’s since the 1970s.
“Most of us are neighborhood people,” he said. “I live four blocks away.”
Kelly said the car service tries to give back to the community through a variety of ways, such as sponsoring Little League teams.
“We’re a beacon in the neighborhood,” Pearlman said. “And we’re open 24 hours, so there’s someone always here if, God forbid, someone needs help."
To catch a ride with Kelly’s, customers may visit its walk-up stand or call 718-229-4141 or 718-229-6161 to make an appointment.
“We have a definite following,” Pearlman said. “I still get calls from people who moved to Long Island, but still want us to pick them up and take them into the city. As long as there is a prearranged place, people can call to get picked up and taken anywhere.”