Ohio Taxpayers Will Help Pay For 'Flying Taxi' Dream

Ohio Taxpayers Will Help Pay For 'Flying Taxi' Dream

Image: Joby Avation

Flying taxis; Who are they for? We have no idea. Will they work? No one knows that either, but Ohio state officials announced this week that flying taxi startup Joby will be building hundreds of them in a heavily state-subsidized facility.

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Joby has been around awhile; back in 2018, the company miraculously managed to secure $100 million from companies like Intel, Toyota and JetBlue to build flying taxis. Now just over six years later, its supposedly going to actually start building these things. In an announcement made by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development director Lydia Mihalik, JobsOhio president & CEO J.P. Nauseef announced that Joby will be building the taxis at a site at Dayton International Airport.

In the release, Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt touted Ohio’s aviation history and how Joby will be the future of transportation:

Ohio’s legacy in aviation leadership begins with the Wright Brothers and continues now with Joby Aviation, as they launch a new era in advanced aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton. The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio’s production lines will redefine urban transportation and contribute to a transformational change in the way people and goods travel. We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made here in Ohio, the Heart of Aviation and Aerospace.

State officials are saying that Joby will create over 2,000 jobs for the area, but those jobs come at a pretty penny for Ohio and its taxpayers. State officials are being extra generous. While Joby will invest $447.5 million another $203 million is coming from Ohio and $93 million from Ohio’s Department of Development Tax Credit Authority through a job creation tax they’re considering. Another $110 million from a JobsOhio grant that will also help Joby attract talent needed to build experimental flying taxis.

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Joby plans to build up to 500 flying taxis a year at the Dayton site. Construction of the site is set to start in 2024 with the facility fully opening in 2025. Joby claims its air taxis will be able to carry a pilot plus four other passengers and can fly up to 200 mph with a range of 100 miles. All we can say is good luck. These flying taxi/flying car startups have been taking money to start up and disappearing for years now with none of them able to show anything for their efforts. Here’s to hoping Ohio officials and taxpayers don’t come to regret the faith they’re putting into this.