Both Uber and Lyft have come to Wyoming. These ride-sharing companies give people the option to use their smart phones to dial up a ride whenever they need it. If you’ve had too much to drink at the bar, call an Uber. If you’re away from home on business and need to get to your meeting, call up Lyft.
And the companies also give regular folks a chance to earn a little extra money. Both companies use normal people to drive, and those drivers make themselves available through the companies’ mobile apps. Drivers have to pass background checks, of course, and the types of vehicles they drive have to be approved before they’re put into service. Both companies require newer vehicles, for instance, so the passengers don’t find themselves paying to help push a broken-down jalopy the final four miles of the trip.
But I think the vehicle requirements are too strict, and both companies are missing out on a great opportunity, especially here in the Cowboy State. I checked to see if my Ram pickup could be used as an Uber or Lyft vehicle, and at first both companies said if it’s a four-door truck with at least six seatbelts, it should be OK. But it doesn’t have leather seats or other luxury amenities. The customer service people for both companies said I would be better off with a fancier vehicle.
I explained that hunters don’t care if there aren’t leather seats, and that they would prefer an open bed for their ride to the hills. That comment was met with silence at both companies, and when they started talking again, they said they don’t offer rides for hunters. I think they’re missing a fantastic niche market. I’d love to take hunters to the field, and I’d even wait around to take them home, as long as the meter were still running. Oh, well, maybe I’ll have to start my own ride-sharing service.