Jasper Lyft driver looking to localize his driving adventures

Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

There was the one time Shannon Roberts drove three IU students from Bloomington to Lansing, Michigan to pick up a Maserati.

It was a $400 fare and a fun ride.

“Adventures in Lyft” may be a good title for his book down the road, but for now he’s hoping things calm down and he can stick to local runs with the app-based rideshare company.

Shannon started driving for Lyft in January when they announced an expansion into the Evansville and Bloomington markets. He thought, why not? The Jasper resident has been driving most of his life and enjoyed doing it.

“I used an Uber on a vacation and thought it would be neat to do as a part time job,” he said.

So, when Uber announced they were coming to Evansville, he started driving part-time, mainly on the weekends. When Lyft expanded into the area, he started driving with them as well. Since the drivers are contracted, they can work with both companies. Shannon even has an app that will notify one ride-share company when he is unavailable while on a run with the other.

He’s enjoying himself. “I really like meeting new and different people,” he said. “I get to talk with people and help them out.”

Shannon has always enjoyed driving. He has a commercial driver’s license and has driven over the road and operated tow trucks for AAA. Both were good gigs but he enjoyed the tow truck job the most since he was usually helping people and they were thankful when he arrived.

Driving for Lyft and Uber has been a different experience. Sometimes people like to talk and others, not so much. “I had a guy one time that said he never took taxis because taxi drivers won’t talk to him,” Shannon said. “So I knew we were gonna be talking.”

He also enjoys the flexibility.

“You’re not going to get rich doing this,” Shannon said. “But the ability to just go online when I want to go online is great.”

When things come up in life, like this week when his wife Mary had an appointment, Shannon can be there rather than out making runs.

While Evansville is slow and steady work, Bloomington keeps him hopping if he decides to work there. The college town’s young population keeps his wheels turning from the moment he shows up and says he is available.

Recently Lyft announced they would make drivers available in the whole state so Shannon decided to start a Facebook Page to help market the service in Dubois County.

His goal is to grow the recognition of the offering in this area so he can remain close to home. “It was nice the other day,” he explained. “I got one from close to home and took them down to the airport. Hour down and an hour back, a quick and easy fare.”

He figures starting the Facebook page is a good way to let people know about the service that just came to the area.

“There’s a lot of interest,” Shannon said.

But mostly it’s been for rides to medical appointments from rural areas or other similar rides. He’s hoping with the Ferdinand Folk Festival this weekend, business will pick up and he’ll gain some more traction in the area.

The app says there are three drivers available in Dubois County. If you need a ride, you can schedule one through the app or contact Shannon through the Facebook page here.