Mustang Sally never rides without Simba sitting shotgun in her fully decked-out sedan. Simba, Mustang Sally’s miniature Shih Tzu, has been riding with her since Lady “M” Sedan Transportation Services opened two years ago.
Mustang Sally only reveals her real name, Mryna Ismail, when pressed — she prefers the anonymity and mystique of her moniker instead.
“When I came back from surgery, I was high as a kite,” Mustang Sally said, explaining how she came to chose her nickname — partly based off of a friend’s name and a Wilson Pickett song, which she says her customers request “a hundred times a night”.
Some of the things that differentiate Mustang Sally’s Sedan #36 from others are the decorations. Yellow paper Easter ornaments hang from the ceiling of her vehicle. When she turns on a switch, neon green lights flicker brightly from the aisles.
“I can’t stand a plain cab,” Mustang Sally said. “When I used to work for Yellow Cab, I fixed it up and called it the ‘Love Cab.’”
A cab driver for five years, Mustang Sally is well versed in the politics of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
One of her customers, who she says is a well-known male figure in Ann Arbor, had been riding in her cab on different occasions with four female companions — none of whom, Mustang Sally dryly noted, she could distinguish as his girlfriend.
“I never squealed on him,” Mustang Sally said. “And he’s been a devout customer ever since.”
Her motto is that “if you treat people like one in a million, you’re going to get that right back.”
Subsequently, Mustang Sally also has what she calls a “V.I.P program,” where she bakes cookies for her customers and sends them e-mails to check up on how they’re doing.
“I just try to be a good parent to these kids,” Mustang Sally said. “Most cab drivers just take them from Point A to Point B. But I just want to love on them.”