“Amish Uber”

Well, it’s not exactly Uber because the Amish buggy driver you can flag down for a ride in the Amish community of Colon, Michigan, doesn’t work for Uber. There’s no app for his services, no online tracking of his arrival, no chance to pick the size car you want, no surge pricing to accept or decline. His horse drawn buggy is one vehicle, one size, and he doesn’t carry a smartphone. You flag him down along the roadway if you need a ride.

Driver Timothy Hochstedler is basically trading on Uber’s name recognition and the appeal of linking “Amish” and “Uber”. What he’s doing may not be legal — you can’t just appropriate the trade name of a larger business in order to save yourself the costs of building a brand on your own. But for right now, if you go to Colon, you can flag Timothy down and pay a flat $5 to get where you’re going.

Business apparently is booming.


14 thoughts on ““Amish Uber”

  1. I seen this mentioned on TV and I laugh my butt off. I could see many ways of contacting a Amish Uber driver. We have a farmers market here in town where I live and the Amish people as well as other vendors sale many good stuff. I have seen the Amish drive Vans to the place, yes I admit, it kinda took me back some. I had joked with one of my young friends about calling and riding in a Uber car. I’m still not sure if I ever want to. I don’t understand how Uber drivers get by with being Cabbies without having Sholfer Liciences. Just sayijng

  2. for Woofy: Uber and Lyft are very big here in Seattle. I think the drivers work very hard, and earn less than cabbies.

  3. I’m here in Indiana (Midwest) & it all new here. I mean it’s a honest wage so great for families. I am for anyone doing right thing. I heard some stories of cabbies getting angry, not really sure of full story honestly.

  4. One of my fantasies after retirement was to drive Old Order Amish (the horse and buggy group) from the Finger Lakes to PA, OH, and other states where they wanted to visit relatives and friends. It was apparently quite a thriving business. I think most Amish are now allowed to have cell phones, since they are not connected to earth-bound wires and poles. The guy could have an even better business!

  5. for Woofy: I think the issue is that cab companies are more regulated, and so the ride is a bit more costly. Uber and Lyft drivers are considered “self employed” and don’t get any benefits or much protection re things like insurance. Lots of the Uber and Lyft drivers I’ve had appear to be immigrants trying hard to get started in the U.S. economy, or retirees trying to earn a few extra bucks. They might not be hired by cab companies. You can either see it as people starting low on the economic ladder and fighting their way up, or as taking advantage.

  6. for Phyllis: I know! But he doesn’t use a cell. I never thought about how hard it is to go any distance to visit family when you have to ride by horse and buggy.

  7. I’m living Indianapolis & few years back. I remember when our city made cab companies make set rate for their riders. Many companies before this, would make their own prices. This make since what you saying about Uber & Lyft. As a person who have worked the lower end of employment would say that the drivers are taken advantage of. What worst is the riders taken a risk for riding. Case in point, few Uber drivers in news for commenting crimes on the job (sort of speak). One shooting ppl & I forget what other one did. I had a friend who became a cab driver, they actually have two ways of working for them, one is you lease the cab you drive, the other way is you work for that company. I’m not exactly sure if this is all cab companies or just our Yellow Cab (main one). Yes, you do need shoffer license. The way you get this license is farely simple, it’s a extra test & extra cost. My Uncle years ago kept one at all times. Now I do understand that different states have different rules.

  8. for Woofy: Uber drivers use their own cars, have to supply their own car insurance, money for gas and repairs, etc. They work very hard for not a lot of money.

  9. Oh I get it, it’s not easy. In fact, many of the online job searches had Uber driving job offers quicker than than the jobs that I’m applying for.

  10. for Woofy: I think if you have a clean car, a valid driver’s license, and can quality for car insurance, Uber will hire you. They have a lot of turnover — people who get discouraged because they’re not earning what they hoped — and so they have to keep hiring to have drivers on the road.

  11. I can imagine that this is true. I’m been on few of these job search apps Indeed, ziprecruitor & Monster. Their all the time sending offers for both Uber & Lyft. Right now I have no car & so it a waste of time for me personally. I joked with a young friend of mine because he rides Uber, it was through him I understand some of what going on with it. Don’t get me wrong, it not that I’m against it. It wouldn’t work for me.

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