Need more safe methods of transportation

In light of last summer’s roadside murder in Manson, I’m writing today to discuss Lake Chelan’s transportation crisis.

It is unfathomable that a community of our size (including the summer tourists) does not have a safe, reliable way for folks to get around. With only a handful of unreliable and expensive taxis that usually need to be booked hours before needing a ride, we cannot depend on cabs to get us into town or back home. There is one Uber/Lyft driver (bless him!), but on busy Saturday nights, he’s difficult to track down.

Our community’s desire to bring in tourists from out of town (wineries! condos! restaurants! bars!) is underscored by our dangerous inability to create the necessary infrastructure for a safe environment. We promote our (truly excellent) wine and beer, but are unable to provide safe, affordable transportation to these places on demand.

This transportation void presents a legitimate business opportunity for us. Why don’t more people drive for Uber and Lyft? This is the perfect side gig for an intrepid person who has free time on weekends and would like to make some extra cash. Nationally, rideshare drivers make between $15-$30/ hour, and given our distances here at the lake, drivers stand to make a lot more, especially during holidays (like Winterfest), weekends, and peak times. Uber and Lyft have helped drop national drunk driving accidents and DUI rates around the country- don’t we want to make our community safer? Aside from rideshare, a water taxi or a shuttle that runs from the State Park, to Chelan, Manson, and back would alleviate drunk driving temptations, and would make the city (or some entrepreneurs) money in the meantime.

Thank you for your consideration,

Elizabeth Ayer

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