It’s been a long road for Union Taxi Cooperative, Denver’s first new taxi company in about 15 years. Operations for the new company and its orange-and-blue cabs began yesterday, writes the Denver Business Journal, after a long fight to obtain permission to operate in the metro area. The company is unique in that drivers are also owners of the company and able to earn more money. Denver Post columnist Bill Johnson notes that most of the drivers are immigrants from Africa who formed the company “out of frustration over the long shifts they worked to make ends barely meet.” Ahmed Shafi, an immigrant from Ethiopia who has been driving a taxi in Denver for four years, is elated, telling the Post, “I will have time to spend with my family now, not having to work 16 hours a day just to pay my company” to lease a cab.