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Ridesharing Creates New Lifestyle For Drivers

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Jan Krueger has a good paying day job, but chooses to spend her weekend hours driving for Lyft, one of several ridesharing operations that have started up throughout the country.

“It’s so addicting meeting tons of new people, making friends, helping them out by  giving them a safe ride,” Krueger  said.

The company connects drivers with passengers on it’s mobile device app which allows passengers to see where the driver is and when they will arrive.  Drivers are encouraged to adopt a theme.  Krueger ’s is 'MomLyft' because she enjoys nurturing and pamper her riders.

One regular is blind passenger Christella Garcia, whose guide dog Priscilla also gets special treatment.  One this day Priscilla got a toy from Krueger.  Christella got a bag of candied popcorn which Krueger spends an hour and half making before each shift.

“We’re spoiled," said Garcia.

“She was my first experience and she was great.  She was friendly, she was helpful and made me feel extremely comfortable,” Garcia said.

Driving is recreation for Krueger , who often starts a shift after dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Instead of going out to inner or after I go out to dinner, instead of going home to watch TV I get in my car and I go drive around and go pick people up," said Krueger .

She said she would not be able to drive a cab because of safety concerns.  But she carries no money because payment is made through the phone app with a credit card account.

Linda Krugman also says she would not be driving riders around without Lyft.  The app uses a GPS functions that track here whereabouts.

“It’s like big brother watching us and we like that,” said Krugman.

Krueger  has a masters in business and is a semi-retired medical device representative. Linda’s Lyft theme is Wellness and often shares her experiences after surviving a bout with Lyme disease.  She says she’s doesn’t drive for the money, although it’s a bonus.  She says she likes to meet and network with people.

“I have this passion for meeting people,for helping people, for enriching my life,” said Krugman.

It works both ways.  UC Davis Lab Medicine professor Dr. Richard Levenson rides with Lyft because he’s fascinated with the backgrounds of Lyft drivers, which he prefers over cab drivers

He met Krugman on a ride from the airport.

“It turns out in her other life she is a distributor for medical equipment and we’re about to actually start a research project using it,” said Levenson.

Some ride sharing drivers no doubt see the money making potential and the enjoy the flexibility of driving.  But at least for a couple of women, it’s created a lifestyle option that will be hard to replace.