Imagine if “calling an Uber” meant getting a horse and buggy ride. In Colon, Michigan, you can do just that, as one man has pioneered a low-tech ridesharing service inspired by the popular app.
Timothy Hochstedler, part of the local Amish community in Michigan’s St. Joseph County, may not own a cell phone or have any affiliation with the Uber app. But that hasn’t stopped him from putting his own spin on the popular ridesharing service.
“Uber is hot right now,” Hochstedler said in an article for WWMT, “so we have the Amish Uber. We can deliver people to their front doorsteps.”
Hochstedler wanted to connect with and provide an experience. Led by a friendly 14-year-old Morgan horse named Walker, Hochstedler’s “Amish Uber” buggy takes guests through the quaint, historic town via the scenic route, talking and telling stories along the way.
Colon may be a small town, with just 1,153 people. But it gets quite a few visitors as the “Magic Capital of the World,” which hosts renowned magic shops and festivals that attract magicians from all over the world. It’s also the final resting place of nearly 30 famed magicians, including Harry Blackstone, Jr., whose father Harry Blackstone, Sr. helped put Colon on the map when he moved there in 1926.
Hochstedler’s service, available only on weekends, is much appreciated and adds to the town’s charm. “I don’t think there’s Uber down here, so it’s pretty cool,” says customer Becky Phelps. “It gives people that option that can’t drive or don’t want to drive or shouldn’t drive.”
People in Colon wishing to use Amish Uber will have to flag it down the old-fashioned way instead of opening an app. But for just $5 a trip, it’s a unique way to experience this cozy, magical town.