FARMINGTON – There is a big need for transportation services in the Farmington area. After the local taxi service closed, people without cars do not have many options. Lyft, a popular ride share app, could be the perfect solution. The problem is that there is only one driver in the area.
KM Ditty moved to Farmington a year ago from Michigan. Ditty wondered how she could find friends in a new town. Somehow she had the idea to become a Lyft driver as a way to interact with the community. At the time, there was a taxi service in town but Ditty still thought it would be a good idea to introduce Lyft to Farmington.
Ditty has a full-time job separate from driving, one that requires her to work last minute and when needed which makes it difficult for her to drive regularly. With her being the only driver around, Lyft does not solve any of Franklin County’s transportation problems. But, Ditty believes, if there were more drivers, this could change.
“I really think this could work,” Ditty said. She has hope that Lyft could be the solution to the lack of transportation in Farmington.
Another issue Ditty has run into is that Farmington just isn’t used to Lyft. The college students, who might be more familiar with the app than locals, are not here all year or do not rely on Lyft because they have had to find other options in the past.
“I think they don’t know what it is so they’re hesitant to use it,” Ditty said in reference to the Farmington community. “It’s actually so easy and so user friendly.”
Ditty wants to share what Lyft is and how simple it is to be both a customer and a driver. To be a driver, all one needs is a car and a clean driving record.
Lyft is a ride share app similar to Uber. What differentiates the two is that with Lyft, the driver has the opportunity to choose and turn down rides. This way, if the driver has had a negative experience with a customer they are not forced to give them any more rides.
A passenger downloads the app and enters their personal and credit card information. Then, they put in the address of where they are going and wait for a driver to accept their ride. The app won’t charge for the ride until a driver is available.
Meanwhile, the driver has a separate app. They upload their driver’s license and car registration and the app runs a background check. Once they are approved to be a driver, they fill out a simple tax document and they are ready to give rides.
According to Ditty, Lyft is very helpful. They provide tutorials on how to have conversations with passengers, how to keep the car clean, where to get gas to help with gas costs, and how to have a safe ride. Lyft is no longer requiring masks during rides.
Ditty encourages people to become Lyft drivers. It is a simple way to make extra money on your own time. Beyond that, it gave Ditty a connection to the community when she was new in town.
“If we could get more drivers, that would make it more feasible for us to just sign on when we want to, people will rely on us more and then we’ll actually have a good ride share service up here in the Farmington area,” Ditty said.