In America, it's hard to build a business without millions in investment, but piggybacking off a wildly successful -- if not imminently scandal-prone -- company might help you carve out a niche. An Amish man in the small Michigan town of Colon has set his sights on the fertile rideshare business by offering transportation with a horse and buggy.
It's like Uber, but Amish. In fact, Timothy Hochstedler is calling his archaic taxi "Amish Uber," even though there's no app, or even smartphones or internet in his disconnected, little enclave of 1,200 people. Unlike the real Uber, with its surge pricing, "vomit fraud," and history of courting controversy, Amish Uber is much more simple: Customers simply hail Hochstedler down on the side of the road -- kind of like people have been doing since the inception of taxis -- and pay $5 for a ride anywhere in town.
He's got some hot branding, too:
This fried quesadilla is infused with Hot Cheetos
And no surprises here, the Amish residents of Colon are pretty down with Amish Uber:
"I don't think there's Uber down here, so it's pretty cool. It gives people that option that can't drive or don't want to drive or shouldn't drive," Amish Uber rider Becky Phelps told local reporters.
The ball is now squarely in the court of Amish Lyft to outmuscle Amish Uber in the fickle rideshare marketplace.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.