Being able to find a cheap and easy way get get around town can be difficult to do. But now, thanks to a new ride share program in the Rockford area, there is a solution to that problem. Rockford Rides is a new local ride share program that started only six weeks ago and has already driven around 500 customers. It only costs $10 to ride anywhere around the Rockford area.
"Rockford has been so supportive of what I've been doing. I have more business than I can even handle," Joshua Beitel said.
Beitel started this company after facing hardships in his life. Beitel says at one point he was homeless, and from there the idea for Rockford Rides was sparked.
"When you don't have a car your life is so complicated. I've been there personally," Beitel said. He continued "My friends would call me on the weekends and say, hey man, instead of taking an Uber can we just call you and pick us up, and take us back and fourth,"
Beitel says he is looking to help out people who are looking for a ride to work, or even to the grocery store, or just to pick up some medicine. He says he knows how hard it can be to find an affordable ride and he wants to be that source for people around the Rockford area.
"Right now my customer is the every day working Joe who's car is broken down and needs a ride to work," Beitel said.
He even provides rides for customers like Meghan Highbarger who is a mother. Highbarger says she is currently without a car at home and needed a ride to run some errands with her son.
"It's hard to find rides especially when people are working and they are busy. With children especially things come up and you need to get somewhere fast," Highbarger said.
Rockford Rides is even working with some local businesses to make sure their customers are getting home safely after having a few drinks. The District Ba and Grill says they have been working with Rockford Rides for a few weeks now, and it's a system that works well for them.
"A lot of the time we will have someone that says "I'm okay to drive" and I'm like come on man. We have a guy in town who will pick you up for ten bucks," District Bar and Grill Security Guard, Gordon Michaelson said.
For now, Beitel says he is the only driver but he says he hopes to build the company for years to come. He says he wants to continue to build his business in the community that he grew up in, and give back any way he can.
If you need a ride, you can either make an online appointment through Rockford Rides' Facebook page, or through Google Maps. Please Click HERE for a link to the Facebook Page.
You can also call Rockford Rides at 630-440-6691.