Getting around just got whole lot easier in Colusa County, as the transportation network company Uber now has a driver serving the area.
Life-long county resident Jerry Silva began driving for the company on July 9, and has only had six fares since he started, but the 27-year-old is hoping that things will pick up as more residents become aware of the service.
“None (of the fares have been) from Colusa. There was one from Williams to the airport, one in Woodland on the way back from the airport, and the rest have been from the Yuba City/Marysville area,” Silva said.
Silva said that he became a driver for a couple of reasons – partly based on his own needs, and partly based on the needs of the community.
“I started driving to try and make extra money on the side,” Silva said. “Plus, I would see people driving home from the bar because there’s no taxi in Colusa. I’d like to help people get home safe.”
Silva said he will be offering rides throughout the entire county and beyond, up to a 100-mile radius. While he said that he plans to offer rides mainly on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 PM and 2:30 AM, his availability will vary from day to day.
“The times I’m available for driving in Colusa County depends on what I’m doing that day,” Silva said. “If I have time, I’ll Uber. I recently quit my job of eight-plus years, so I might be available more often, until I find another primary job.”
Silva added that with a bit of advanced planning and communication, he would work to be online when someone needs a ride.
“Maybe there is a way that people can contact me, saying that they need a ride beforehand so I can be available through Uber,” Silva said. “People that know me can call me and be like, ‘Hey Jerry, can I get a ride later today around 7 PM if you’re available?’ And I will either tell them yes and to turn on the Uber app just before 7 PM and wait for Uber to notify me, or tell them that I can’t because I’m busy.”
In order to reap the benefits of having an Uber driver locally, residents need a smartphone and will have to download the Uber app from either the Apple or Android App Stores. It is free to download, but a credit card is required for the payment of fares.■