Amish Man Starts Horse-and-Buggy ‘Uber’ Service in Rural Michigan
You don’t need modern technology to join the ride-share revolution.
The Amish are known for being famously hardworking and famously adverse to most modern forms of technology. That includes smartphones and the entire app ecosystem therein, meaning no Snapchat, no Fortnite, and no ride-sharing for these Anabaptist folk—except in one community in southern Michigan, where a man has started a one-horse operation he's calling the "Amish Uber," WWMT News reports.
Uber doesn't operate in the rural area surrounding the tiny village of Colon, Michigan, but word of its potential managed to reach the ears of a local Amish man named Timothy Hochstedler. He slapped a sign on his buggy and started offering the equivalent of UberX and Uber Pool rides for a flat $5 fee, giving a simple reason for wanting a piece of the action during his surprising on-camera interview: ride-sharing is the way of the times.
We should note here that he doesn't actually work for Uber, nor is there an app you can use to summon or track his small buggy and Morgan horse around town. Hochstedler doesn't own a cell phone; instead, WWMT notes that you have to flag him down on the street like a normal cab. So what separates this endeavor from a regular old taxi? Branding.
"Uber is a cool thing. Every single year something new comes in and Uber is hot right now, so we have the Amish Uber," Hochstedler told a reporter. "We can deliver people to their front door steps."
The Amish may not use our technology, but they sure understand what makes us tick. Uber has become one of those metonymic brands, synonymous with the concept of ride-sharing in the same way that Google is a stand-in for "internet search" and every tissue is a Kleenex. An Amish taxi service is just another business. An Amish Uber combines two disparate worlds in a way that catches our attention. Plus, a $5 horse and buggy ride is far cheaper than the tourist experiences found in places like New York's Central Park.
So good luck to Timothy Hochstedler. And Uber, you might want to consider an official partnership with this guy before he corners the Amish market. You'll just have to send someone to Michigan to find him first.