Two Summit County residents find a way to offer rides outside of the confines of Uber and Lyft
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons’ name.
Alexandra Moran says her boyfriend, Daniel Stangroom, loves how practical she is. Moran says Stangroom finds her smart, logistical and able to make good decisions — like not drinking and driving.
Moran, who has been driving for Lyft since November 2021, said it all started when she used to work at a restaurant in Keystone, the Big Horn Bistro and Bar. While most of the people she hung out with would drink after work, Moran said, “I was the person who got six glasses of water at the bar and maybe a burger.”
So when someone realized that it was about time to go home, there was no bus and it wasn’t safe to walk, Moran was the obvious choice. At that point, it was around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. so she agreed with one stipulation.
“I’m going to politely ask for $10, for every person in the car,” she said.
Her coworkers, she said, immediately took to the offer, excited that a ride from her would be so much cheaper than an Uber.
“I was almost getting what I did in a serving shift doing two, maybe 30-minute car rides max, and making $100 doing it,” she said. Therefore, thinking she could make just as much, she applied to drive for Lyft.
However, she found out that it’s hard to make a noticeable income through Lyft.
For example, Moran said one day, just because she was curious, she decided to look up how much an Uber ride would be from her home in Keystone to Bluebird Market in Silverthorne. It was $49.
Moran said the company she works for, Lyft, sets the rates for you.
“As the driver, I may — from Silverthorne to, let’s say, Dillon — I only got $8 for doing that ride,” she said about a hypothetical ride.
Therefore, Moran decided to keep doing private rides on the side, which were not only cheaper for her riders, but also put more money in her pocket at the end of the day. Plus, she said, it gave her an excuse to be out and about while five months pregnant with her baby, who is now 4 months old.
Another reason Moran wanted to stay in the driving business was the moral inspiration to keep those who may otherwise drink and drive, safe.
Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in 2021, there were 121 driving under the influence charges — just from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. This year, from Jan. 1 to June 30, there have already been 89. FitzSimons pointed out that it looks like there will already be more in 2022 than in 2021 just based on the numbers from those first six months of the year.
As well as driving her coworkers home, Moran said she saw many people accidentally drink too much when she worked as an employee at Basecamp Wine and Spirits. In 2022, Moran also experienced the loss of ex-boyfriend Jarrod Russell, who died after a night of drinking.
All of these experiences inspired her to try to keep others safe.
“It’s just basic,” Moran said, “Hey, it’s Tuesday in July, wear sunscreen. And wear a jacket when it’s cold, bring water when it’s hot, and it’s not ‘just don’t drink and drive’ — it’s (knowing) when to stop.”
Andrew Siegel, the owner of Summit Black Car, started his private rideshare business this spring.
Siegel, similar to Moran, said one of the reasons he was inspired to start his driving service was because of how many driving under the influence charges he saw in Summit County.
“When I socialize, I realize that people make the decision to get in the vehicle and drive because there aren’t any rides available,” he said. “They try, they try, and no one is available.”
Not only did he see a lack of driving services in Summit County, Siegel also experienced, after just two nights of driving for Uber, that working under one of the big companies did not offer much in the way of income. He also said that Uber also doesn’t allow the driver to see the location or the rate before they accept the ride.
That’s why he thinks many people don’t want to work for driving services in Summit County.
Until there are more drivers, there are free resources in Summit County for those who need a ride, like the Summit Stage. However, Siegel said, many of those services do not run up until the bars are closing down.
More information on bus schedules can be found on the Summit County government webpage under the department tab, where you can find the Summit Stage “Bus Schedule” link.
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