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Dan’s the Man – for a Lyft!

There are many transport choices in Las Vegas, you just need to know where you want to go. If you are reasonably savvy with web applications and WIFI you can save yourself a few dollars, get delivered door to door and enjoy an air conditioned ride in a privately-owned vehicle.Many of us are familiar with Uber in New Zealand and those of us who use it know it’s a cheaper, often more readily available at peak times, mode of transport in the big cities that saves you battling the ques at the taxi rank and fighting with bags on the traditional bus or train methods.

The Lyft service has been developed in America to offer the Uber service some direct competition I expect and the traveling public are no doubt the benefactors of competition.I was a Lyft virgin until this morning. Spending a few days on the Las Vegas strip with a rental car has meant that we hadn’t a need for transport. Walking the four miles of the strip ducking in and out of air conditioned shops for respite, has seen us covering ground in the city and leaving the car parked up. Lyft is a service that many hotels and accommodation providers along the Vegas Strip are trying to encourage for its clientele to help with the traffic congestion and promote the service. The Travel Lodge we stayed in had business cards offering fare reductions to the tune of $50 if you signed up to the Lyft service using the supplied promotional code and web application.

I took up the offer and registered for use, out of curiosity more than anything and to see how the service compared operationally in my view to Uber. The payment details for my credit card had been retained in my phone so it was a simple exercise once I had downloaded the app. Only then did I realise that the $ 50 credit on the promo could only be redeemed when catching lifts from the strip in Vegas so I guess unless I am back anytime soon my initial ride will be my only one. We surrendered the rental car last night knowing we needed to catch a bus early this morning for Los Angeles. This was an opportunity to use the service to get about 100kg of luggage and three heaving bodies in the ridiculous heat to the bus station. (actually, there are only two heaving bodies, one member of the party is coping much better with the heat but then she is only half our age and size with quarter of the luggage!).

I requested a car using the phone app and noticed a few hoovering about the area on the screen. Daniel was the first driver to respond and the wait time before arrival according to the app was 3 minutes. We watched his car moving on the map screen getting closer and closer to our hotel and when he was nearly there my phone rang. Those details have been saved in my Lyft profile so he was confirming pick up as he pulled up in his White Nissan SUV.

He’s a particular sort of bugger is our Daniel, and I expect his day time role as a member of the housekeeping team at the MGM Hotel on the Strip has taught him much about customer service and the needs of the travelling public. He is paid $19.00 an hour for dealing with Customer complaints regarding room facilities and he likened his job to that of a Concierge Service for the 6000 rooms that are part of that complex.

He lept out of the car in his smart looking tunic and insisted on arranging the luggage in the back neatly. Along the back of the boot I noted a net full of cleaning products, polishes and air-fresheners among other things - all tools of the trade I was to learn later. He uses any down time between Lyft trips to keep the car cleaned and smelling good so his passengers enjoy the ride. The first thing he said when he got into the car was “how’s the temperature, Ladies?” It was ok at 50 degrees despite the two front windows being down when we got in. I have learned that the drivers turn the AC off when they are waiting and leave the windows down to save gas and once you are in proceed with temperature control. Daniels car is obviously his pride and joy and moonlighting as a Lyft driver on the weekends and in-between shifts at the MGM is his way of securing his future and making the money to get ahead in life. He is 27, considers himself an entrepreneur and is enthusiastic about making his way. His eyes lit up when I suggested he move his operation to NZ as I am sure the service isn’t available there yet.

You wouldn’t want for much in that car and his entrepreneurial streak was evident with the well written signs indicating you had entered the “Danielzone”. His personalized business and star rating cards and several other things were at your disposal. Once you are in the “Danielzone” you have control of the climate and the music. In addition to this you can select a movie to watch from the tablet displayed on the dash in the front seat, or make yourself comfortable by having a freshen up. Wet wipes are available as is three different types of hand sanitizer. Help yourself to a mint, a water, charge your phone, remove the lint from your clothes with the lint roller supplied or write your to do list with the pens and paper supplied. Some folks have been writing up a storm it would appear, leaving their personal contact details for Daniel for further servicing! He pretended the details on the pad that Stevie found while poking in the pocket were a surprise, but when one girls name was read out his face flashed in acknowledgement as he recalled what a nut bar she was.

Anyway, what a great experience this was and I hope Daniel does really well with the business venture. He talked about all his gadgets being tax deductible, right down to the new wheels on the Nissan and he is dreaming big, getting off his arse and trying to make it work in the city that never sleeps. If you are in Vegas, need to freshen on your way to your Vegas wedding, or to one of the hundreds of casinos there too loose a few quid, Dan’s the Man for a Lyft.

Thank you, Daniel, for making our morning such a treat and you have the very best wishes from two backpacking cougars and a backpacking cub!

If you are on the strip Code: DANIEL81467

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