Helping A Small Town Community, One Ride At A Time

By Scottsdale Pinetop —

Rideshare companies, such as Lyft and Uber, have exploded in popularity over the past several years. In fact, they’re a dime a dozen in big cities like Scottsdale or Phoenix, especially on the Friday or Saturday night. But in many rural small towns, rideshare services are almost nonexistent, leaving some residents without modes of transportation.

So, when Arizona Gov. Ducey implemented the COVID-19 “stay-at-home” order on March 31, it left some people in small communities stranded without the ability to get the supplies they needed. Many of these individuals were from the older population most affected by COVID-19.

But one small town driver is using his services to help residents in need get from point A to point B.

Anthony Hancock is the owner and dispatcher of the ride share service Saferide in the White Mountains. Hancock started Saferide & Delivery more than seven years ago as a way to help reduce drinking and driving, DUIs and accidents in his community.

“I started with giving free rides to my friends, but so many people heard about it and wanted rides that it just grew,” said Hancock.

Since then he has been helping the residents get where they need to go.

Throughout the “stay-at-home” order, Saferide was deemed an essential service and Hancock jumped at the opportunity to help his community, whatever the request.

“The day everything shut down, we became twice as busy with people, especially elderly, asking for food deliveries and grocery shopping,” said Hancock. “The most frequent request we have is for people asking to pick up prescriptions they need. We were able to assist the community and help each other through this.”

Saferide runs from 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

To ensure the health of his drivers and riders, Hancock has implemented safety measures. “We wear masks, wipe down cars after every ride and no one is allowed to ride in the front seat,” he said.

As places are re-opening across the state, larger rideshare companies are starting to gain some traction after taking a huge hit these past few months. But it will be a long road ahead for these companies to regain what they lost and address safety concerns amongst large populations.

For smaller communities, it is humbling to see individuals use their resources and services to do their part to help those in need.

“Really, it is all about neighbors helping neighbors and coming together,” Hancock said.

And that is a valuable lesson to remember in a time of community uncertainty and crisis.