MASON CITY, Iowa - It's New Year's Eve in North Iowa, and you may be thinking about going out on the town to say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019.
But if you decide you want to include alcohol in your festivities, but don't want to drive, you really don't have a lot of options when it comes to calling a cab, or a Lyft, or an Uber. Even scrolling through Facebook feeds, there are some individuals who are offering up "sober rides" to those may have too much to drink.
And it's because they know that when it comes to transportation, it's tough to find around smaller communities.
William Reid started "Reid's Ridesharing Service", which provides Lyft service in and around North Iowa, earlier this year. He knows this night will bring with it some challenges.
"Thanksgiving was my busiest night, so I'm expecting tonight is going to be as busy as well."
Since the launch, the number of Lyft drivers in the area has grown.
"I've seen about six Lyft drivers on the app. I'm usually out pretty much every weekend."
Ana Maria Masson is a Lyft driver herself, and also started driving earlier this year. She uses her own vehicle, and folks needing a "lift" use the app to order and pay for a ride.
"I really enjoy the conversations and some of the people that come. And I always take my dog with me and he really enjoys coming with me and seeing the people and getting to know them."
Her work schedule is mainly just weekends, but she knows New Year's Eve evening is going to be a big one, which is why she's making herself available.
"I'm anticipating that it's going to be busy because people want to go to parties, but they don't want to drive themselves, and after been drinking all night, drive and be tired and get in trouble with the law."
Despite a growing need, both William and Ana Maria know they won't be able to help all of the people looking for a safe sober ride, but note that Lyft is another option to complement to the existing taxi services.
"We're pretty much doing the same thing, just picking up people and getting them home safely. Sometimes they can't be to a certain place at a certain time, and someone will look on the app, and they see me driving around the app and they'll get ahold of me and I'll be able to pick them up."
In addition to Lyft, Express Taxi Service of Mason City and Call A Cab in Clear Lake will both be operating on New Year's Eve.
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