UpLyfting Thoughts #1

This is the start of a brand new series at the Not Now Silly Newsroom, now using our new mobile facilities. The Grey Ghost roams 3 South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. On the road there’s a lot of time to think. UpLyfting Thoughts are jotted down as they happen, or reconstructed later.


I’ve been driving for Lyft for 3 weeks. If I had to make snap judgements (without being judgemental):

About 80% of my clients are POC, whether Black, Latino, or Asian. My brother-in-law who drives elsewhere in the country tells me his numbers are reversed. It’s all about local demographics;

70% of my Black passengers — men and women — wear dreads, some of them fabulously;

About 75% of my clients are under 30;

It’s about equally 50% men vs. women.

I drove cab for several years in Toronto and there are some distinct differences. To begin with the relationship is different. When people got in my cab, suddenly I was working for them. With Lyft, however, there’s a level of trust because both sides are vetted. My passengers know The Grey Ghost and I had to jump through a number of regulatory hoops to become a certified, including a  background check and mechanical inspection. Pretty well anybody can become a cab driver. [TO BE FAIR: You need to take a course and then a test to become a Toronto cabbie. Or, at least you did when I did it.]

On the opposite side of the street, I also know that my customers are vetted. Lyft has their address, phone number, and credit card number on file. Nobody’s going to take a runner. Whenever I drop my passenger I press a button and get to rate my clients on a system of 1 to 5 stars. They also get to rate me on the same scale when they leave my car. If my rating drops below a certain line, I can be delisted.

Everyone on both sides of the equation understands that I am providing a needed service. There’s a totally different level of respect than my passengers had for cab drivers.

And, The Grey Ghost is nicer than any cab I’ve ever driven.


Tune in for other action-packed episodes of UpLyfting Thoughts, as the NNS Mobile Newsroom™ gives a Lyft to those who need one. Happy motoring and back to the freeway which is already in progress.


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Headly Westerfield
Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.