BUCKHANNON – Need a ride to downtown Buckhannon?
Or to the southern part of the county? How about out of Upshur County?
No worries – The county’s newest – and possibly only – Uber driver is prepared to get you where you need to be.
James Huber, the owner of Buckhannon’s Wendy’s, said he started the new gig of “Ubering” in the summer to occupy his spare time whilst making some extra cash.
“I used to be a coach, and now I’m not coaching anymore, so this gave me something to do in my off-time,” he said.
While some people may only associate Uber with larger cities, Huber wants folks to know his services are now available in the progressing B-U community.
“Instead of just the old days of taxis, there’s the opportunity for the quick and easy Uber drive to take you here and there a little easier,” he said. “It’s just more modern.”
Folks in the area looking for a ride need to download and turn on their Uber application to find Huber.
If he’s available, Huber will pick up the passengers in his Subaru Ascent, which seats seven passengers.
“I’m more of an afternoon-type Uber driver. I’m not a late-night Uber driver,” he said.
Huber said he typically turns on his availability after 1:30 p.m. until roughly 7 p.m. during the weekdays. He will occasionally be available on Sundays.
Huber said once folks start using the Uber services more frequently, he would consider expanding his services. Huber also is flexible with where folks need to go, noting he will drive throughout the county and has even traveled as far as Parkersburg for a passenger.
“An old lady was stranded, and she was picking up a truck, but she was left in Weston and had to pick up a truck in Parkersburg,” Huber said. “So, she needed a ride. She did not know there was an Uber, and she just happened to turn on her Uber app, and I was on, and I was the only one.”
To become an Uber driver, Huber said he had to go through an extensive background check through the company, which holds onto all his vehicle information.
With only a few months of being a driver, Huber said he has enjoyed the experience, which is different with each passenger.
“It gives me something to do and people to meet, and I really like that,” he said. “I like the idea of having an opportunity to show our town off if it’s someone new or just to help people who don’t have a way of getting around. I like the opportunity to communicate and just talk to people.”
Anyone interested in becoming a driver for Uber should check out www.uber.com. Huber said he doesn’t see other drivers as competition, noting that the more Uber becomes a presence in Buckhannon, the more folks will utilize its services.
“If there’s more Uber, then more people are going to use the opportunity and use Uber,” he said.
Since Huber drives mainly in the afternoon until 7 p.m., he said the area needs a late-night driver for the college students and night owls.
“If there’s somebody out there that wants to be an Uber driver at 1 a.m., the college students can use you, but I’m not going to do that. I’m not a late person,” he said.