About 20 months ago Lyft sent out a notice of a new service called Lyft-Line. They had test marketed the concept in San Francisco and declared it a big success. The idea is that you take complete strangers in the same general direction. Somehow through the magic of algorithms, your Driver app is able to connect folk who want a discount ride and are willing to jump in a car with not only an anonymous driver, but also a passenger. The interesting part for Lyft is that both riders pay them, but the driver only gets one set fee. “Oh but think of the extra tips”. I have yet to see it work out but I have had many interesting “car loads” of complete strangers. Here are three of them:
1). My First Lyft Line call ever was from DIA. It started with a woman headed to the Stapleton area. I picked her up on the east side of DIA. Then as we were leaving I was ‘pinged’ to the west side. I got him loaded in the car with lots of luggage. He was headed downtown. She is a medical doctor who does Locum Tenens (fly around the country) work. He was a former professional baseball player who will remain anonymous. Considering the large profit Lyft took, and the discount I gave, it was a memorable ride. We had a spirited conversation about how Denver is growing and our love-hate feelings about it.
2). I picked him up in Capitol Hill. He said, “I am running late to a meeting on 17th Street (bankers and lawyers) please do your best. I said “For sure, you did take Lyft Line so it is possible we have to get someone else”. “Oh yes, I forgot, I have never had a second rider”. I thought 💭 to myself “He is just cheap”. PING— “Looks like you have company”. I could see his brow furl. She got in and was headed up to the River North area which meant he was first out. I shot through a couple of almost red lights, and dropped him off three minutes early. He did thank me and give me a 5$ cash tip.
She opened up after he got out. She had won an immigration lottery visa from Afghanistan. With the encouragement of her family, she had come to Colorado five years earlier. She works in a program where young women are taught rock climbing to overcome trauma. She fits the profile of who the current right-wing regime wants to KEEP OUT! All I can say is, thank God she is here. She was beyond an inspiration.
3). It was the MLK holiday last week and I was driving in my old neighborhood of Washington Park. I was listening to the Eagles 🦅 Channel on Sirius. The song “Say it Loud, I am Black, I am Proud” by James Brown, came on, which is not what usually shows up right behind “Hotel California”. Just as the song was starting a middle aged black women hopped in my front seat. Without missing a beat she joined in the singing. “Pretty timely for today don’t you think”? she said with a warm smile. We then headed to Capitol Hill, where across the street from my home of 11 years, we picked up a young woman. They began a spirited conversation. It turns out the younger woman owns a yoga studio which is located a block from my first passenger’s workplace. They exchanged information and yoga is in the future.
I just listened; somewhere in eternity in which “the arc of Justice bends” MLK smiles.
Onward and Upward