Terri Lynn Redmond has been driving college students, beachgoers and others in need of a ride in her silver Buick sedan for almost a year.
Her part-time driving took place north of the Maryland line until recently, when she convinced Uber to bring its ride-sharing service to Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
“We don’t have it here, and we need it,” Redmond said of the app that allows drivers and riders to connect instantaneously.
“People are very dependent on their cars around here and, as you well know, if you don’t have a vehicle … you’re out of luck,” she said.
After six months of petitioning Uber to come to Accomack and Northampton counties, Redmond is in need of both drivers and riders to make the service a success on the peninsula.
Her hope is that with enough drivers, Shore Uber can live up to her unofficial motto: “No worries.”
“That is the hope — that it will be no worries once it’s up and running,” Redmond said.
She’s used the app as both a driver and rider in the past and sees Uber filling a variety of needs on the Shore, from transporting those without a car to curbing drunk driving in an area without taxi service.
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But Redmond faces a few challenges launching Shore Uber.
First, she needs drivers in locations from Kiptopeke to the Maryland state line to give Uber riders adequate coverage.
Because driving for Uber is a part-time endeavor for most, not every driver is online all the time — and that’s part of the beauty and challenge of the app.
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot and it’s a good way to make extra money,” Redmond said, but “I can’t be the only driver here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. That just won’t work.”
She hopes to recruit as least three other drivers to make the ride-sharing app a success.
Another challenge is attracting riders to a service new to the area.
“A lot of people don’t know what it is,” Redmond said.
But she isn’t deterred by the challenge.
“I believe that one person can make a difference,” she said. “To me, it’s like a public service … I want everybody to be able to benefit from this because … you never know when you might need it.
“I want us, being people on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, to benefit from this technology,” she said.
Those interested in becoming Uber drivers must have a valid driver’s license, vehicle insurance and registration, and must be willing to undergo a background check before they start driving.
Drivers and riders need a smartphone to connect to the app.
Signing up to drive is relatively simple and Redmond hopes to mentor new drivers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Search for “Terri Lynn Redmond” to message her via Facebook for an invite link to drive for Uber.
Click here to learn more about becoming an Uber driver, or download the Uber app on a smartphone to start finding rides.