Town Welcomes Home Webb Transportation Services
Webb Transportation Services, a private limo and livery service run by Danvers native John Webb, is moving into its new location at 43 Prince St.
John Webb is back home. Well, as a lifelong Danvers resident, former Selectman and Town Meeting member, he never really left, but getting his private limousine and livery business, Webb Transportation Services, here has been a different story.
The business that he’s owned and operated in various locations on the North Shore since 2001 has had a series of incarnations over the years and many addresses. He says he's always wanted to base it out of Danvers, but finding a suitable location here has been nearly impossible until now.
Webb finally put the last piece of the puzzle together with his move to 43 Prince St.
“In fact, I stumbled on this place by accident,” said Webb. “I was driving by and happened to see the landlord putting out a ‘Space For Rent’ sign. I stopped and asked about it, and here we are,” which is how he explained to the Board of Selectmen as well last month, receiving a private livery service license from the board.
“We are in the construction phase with the building, but we’re in,” said Webb. “We have speedy access to the city (Boston) because of our location here in Danvers, so we should continue to grow rapidly.”
Webb told selectmen he's hoping to create some jobs locally as he expands. The fleet currently consists of eight vehicles, which he hopes to double within a year. Most of the traffic to and from the site will be in the early morning or late evening hours, and all of it is by appointment – it’s not a taxi service, Webb said.
“I’m very proud of this town. I think you’ll find we’ll be a very good neighbor,” he told selectmen.
Danvers Patch sat down with Webb recently to discuss his business and get to know the man behind the wheel.
Q: You're a Danvers native, correct?
A: Yes, I was born and raised in Danvers. I went to the Port School and St. John’s Prep, where I played football. St. John’s was a special place - the only thing that beats their sports program is what they do in the classroom. I moved out for a short stint after college and got an apartment in Marblehead, which was fun, right down by Maddie’s. But Danvers was always home.
I have two children. Amanda was a three-sport varsity athlete in track, softball and soccer. She went through Danvers Public Schools until eighth grade and then the Governors Academy for high school and Dartmouth for college. Andrew went to my alma mater St. John’s Prep, where he played Rugby and then studied at Boston University.
Q: How do you like your new location?
A: I am delighted to be moving the business back to Danvers. We’ve been established since 2001. We were actually going to abandon it, at one point, but then regrouped, had a rebirth and put a focus more on local clientele and grew it. We were based in Lynn, Beverly, Middleton and Peabody, but I was always looking to move back here.
Q: What kinds of services does Webb Transportation Services offer to its customers?
A: We are a transportation service, featuring limo service, sedan and town car service to Logan and the greater Boston area. We service customers all over the North Shore, as far north as Vermont and down through New York and New Jersey. We can also arrange to handle our customers’ transportation needs using our Webb World Wide network of affiliate transportation services.
Q: What makes your business strategy different?
A: We are customer service based and stress one-on-one communication between our customers and us. We answer the phones here, so our customers will get a person on the other end of the line. If the call does go to voicemail, we get back to the caller right away. We want our drivers in our customers’ driveways, not “on time,” but 15 minutes early, so our customers get started off the right way without any anxiety. I believe in a constant engagement of the customer; anything that has to do with how we are doing I want to know so we can better serve our customers. I even plan on having an old-fashioned suggestion box on our Web site home page that goes right to me.
Q: How have you been marketing Webb Transportation?
A: We market to a worldwide audience, driven by having people find our Web site through keywords and search engines, directing them to content on our site that they need, to have either a successful or an enjoyable experience when they travel.
Q. Why this business?
A. I traveled a lot, and was not impressed with livery services and how others’ ran their businesses. I thought, “If I could take what I learned in my childhood and apply it to this type of business, I could really be on to something.” We’re not perfect, but we do try to not make the same mistakes twice. That’s a successful business.
Q: You have a new Web site. Is that the best way for people to reach you?
A: The Web site is new and it is a hub of various resources for our customers. They can get their flight status when they go there – look it up by their flight or the time just by clicking on a link. We also will be including town histories, links to articles, such as those on Danvers Patch. Our clients want to know what activities are available to them when they visit here.
Q: You’ve been active in public service through the years in town. What causes are important to you?
A: When I was a kid my dad had polio and was in an iron lung for a while. My brother had it too. It was a trying time for us, and a lot of people in town stepped up to help out. So you give back. I’ve enjoyed helping out where I could. Since the 1970s I’ve been involved in Town Meeting and was a selectman for nine years. I was head of the Holten-Richmond Middle School Advisory Committee, started the Land and Sea race a million years ago and Danvers Family Festival. I’ve worked with a lot of great people in the town.
I also coached softball, soccer and Little League. I coached a Babe Ruth team – they called us “The Lug-nuts” – and I had the kids out there on the third baseline; I had them coordinating the batting order so they would learn how to think like a baseball player and really learn the game. What those kids took away with them, they’ll never forget because it’s not what happens on the field that matters, but what happens between the kids in their experiences with each other.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction. It was incorrectly reported where John Webb's daughter went to high school. In fact, she was only enrolled in Danvers schools until eighth grade and then went to the Governor's Academy in Byfield.