Sing-a-Long Home: The Karaoke Bus

Karaoke is just one of those things you have to try at least once. It’s the chance to put that song you’ve been practicing in the shower to the test, and no matter how good or bad or embarrassing your performance may be, it is always entertaining.

In 2008, the CU Taxi Express Karaoke Party Bus service took karaoke to whole new level. The founders of the company didn’t really advertise. They left the existence of the Party Bus as word of mouth until one day a UIUC Business professor caught a ride with them and changed it all.

“He thought it was pretty sharp, and he started asking his students if they’d ever seen it,” Duane Edwards, one of the co-founders, explained.

Since then, the popularity of the Karaoke Party Bus has grown.

But why is the Karaoke Bus so enticing? Edwards sums it up to the fact that people simply like to sing. Whether it’s country music or the Backstreet Boys or anything in between, students and alumni alike love it.

“Even with the alumni it’s pretty popular. They like the oldies like the 70s and 80s,” Edwards said.

In order to make driving and karaoke possible, the Karaoke Party Bus has a separate DJ in charge of the music. At first, all of the music came from CDs and riders couldn’t choose specific songs. Flipping through books of CDs was too time-consuming. Now, everything is on a computer and riders can pick from a selection of more than 70,000 songs.

On top of the fun factor, the Karaoke Party Bus also provides a safe way to get to where you’re going. It doesn’t matter whether you need a ride home or your night is just starting, it costs just two dollars per person for each ride. Edwards explained that the main priority of the Karaoke bus is students’ safety.

“I’d see girls walking home late at night and just be like, why are you walking home?…Our biggest problem right now is that students don’t think they can ride the Karaoke Bus, they don’t know it’s a taxi.”

Understandably, the Karaoke Party Bus is most popular at night. Edwards says that most nights people start calling in around 10:30 PM, some just to go a couple of blocks. There’s no shame in singing your heart out and no doubt, it makes your night out all the more entertaining.