Handy Delivery was purchased by Jim and Noreen Byers back in 1976. At the time, the company was doing local deliveries in smaller vehicles focusing on inter-office mail and small packages. In the first few years, the business added deliveries from stores in and around State College and luggage transportation from the University Park Airport. These services allowed Handy Delivery to start to flourish in the community.
In 1981, the Byers bid and won the purchase of the Centre Region’s only taxi service that was owned by the State College Borough and managed by the Centre Area Transit Authority (CATA) for a price of $1000. Nobody in the past could make the service profitable and the Byers’ felt that with the addition of this service to its existing delivery service, it could work. They were right.
Over the next two decades, Taxi by Handy Delivery grew faster than any other service in the Commonwealth. Starting from virtually running no more than 30 calls a day, it grew to running over a thousand calls on football weekends during its peak in the mid to late 1990’s. It boasted having 26 cabs on the road at one time and offered a timely and inexpensive option for travel throughout the Centre
Region and Bellefonte.
During that same period, the Delivery part of the business grew as well. Not only did they continue to do what they had been doing over the past several years, but also added Courier and On Demand delivery services to their repertoire. They did and still work with Couriers from around the country being the initial pickup or end delivery of packages needing to be sent across the country or around the world. Clients included the Federal Reserve, FedEx, UPS, Geisinger, Red Cross, Mount Nittany Medical Center and many others that remain as business partners today.
From 1988 until 2000, Handy Delivery also provided a luxury limousine service. With 2 super-stretched Lincoln limousines, and a corporate Cadillac limousine, it served the local and Penn State communities for special events, weddings, formals, and an occasional trip to a larger city within the state. They sold the limousine division to another company to focus on other projects.
In 1990, CATA asked Handy Delivery to bid on operating its Centre Ride Program. The program offered door to door transportation for senior citizens and disabled residents for a reduced fee. Funded by monies received by the Federal Government and the American’s with Disabilities Act, CATA needed someone that would provide the services to accommodate the region’s growing population. With the growth of the Taxi portion of the business, it was a symbiotic relationship and the service was generally hailed throughout the two decades Handy Delivery operated the service.
Three years ago, Handy Delivery built a warehouse and a gated storage and parking facility at its location near the University Park Airport. The company now offers 10X10 storage units, RV and vehicle parking and works with some local interior designers to store and deliver furniture. The warehouse is currently rented out for use by AAUW. Handy Delivery continues to receive, store and deliver furniture and other products from its facility. The storage and parking facilities are consistently 70% to 80% filled.
Early in 2021, the Byers made the difficult decision to close the taxi company. After two decades of providing exemplary service to the County, Handy Delivery saw the Public Utility Commission allow several competing entities enter the market. These companies eventually all closed. More recently, the state allowed companies like Uber an unfair competitive advantage that existing taxi companies throughout the state and country, were not allowed. Taxi companies around the Commonwealth fell into the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission, which regulates what a company is allowed to charge. Falling under public domain, taxis are mandated to charge the same amount to anyone using our services at any time. Uber and the like are allowed to charge different amounts during “peak” times in which a customer has no way of knowing. They can also turn down service in which regulated companies cannot. Unfortunately, it was too much for the company to take with all of these factors and the Covid-impacted economic reality.
The Byers would like to thank the community and all of the customers and partners it has provided
service for over the years. The family is eternally grateful to the truly amazing and dedicated staff over
the decades. Handy Delivery looks forward to continuing to provide Centre County with courier and
furniture deliveries along with its storage and parking services for decades to come.