Amy Jo Parish
The saying goes that the ride is half the journey. For Dana of B’s Ride Service, the ride is the journey. For the past three years, she has been helping area residents get to work and their appointments, all while having a great time getting to know each of her clients.
“I’m having fun because of the people,” explained Ball. “I’m finding out that even in a trip that’s 10 minutes, everybody has a story to tell. You hear some funny stories, some sad stories, but everyone has a story.”
With the limousine she acquired just three weeks ago, Ball has been transporting clients in style while enjoying the relationships she is building during each ride. She plans to use the vehicle for festive events such as weddings and is also planning for Friday Limo Nights, when residents can ride home from a local bar in comfort and safety.
Charging a flat rate rather than a per mile or per minute rate, Ball is able to provide her customers with stability and affordability. She is just a phone call away, making it easy for anyone, regardless of their technology skills to get in touch.
“All they have to do is pick up the phone and make a request,” said Ball. “We make it accessible for everyone, not everyone has a smart phone.”
Operating in the evenings and weekends, in addition to daytime hours, helps residents get to work and appointments on time. Along with the newly added limousine, Ball also has a wheelchair accessible van, making it even easier for residents to use her driving services. While she recognizes the work of EATRAN and other ride services, Ball is eager to work with other businesses rather than compete against them.
“We pick up everybody that EATRAN is not able to due to their hours of operation, we’re not trying to step on their toes,” said Ball. “We’re a safety net if they are unable to use EATRAN.”
Providing that safety net sometimes goes beyond just a ride. Ball and her staff have been able to direct some riders in need to places offering assistance and connect them to resources they need, something Ball views as more than just good business.
“Being that connection in the community, is in a way, giving back to the community,” said Ball. “When someone is down on their luck, we help them out.”
A sixth generation Michigander, Ball grew up in the area and knows the roads inside and out, making owning a ride business a piece of cake.
“My roots run really deep. There isn’t a road in Eaton County that I haven’t been on,” said Ball.
Through the miles, many clients have come to mean more than just a paycheck to Ball and her employees.
“They have become family,” said Ball. “We’ve attended funerals, sent plants and flowers when someone passes. You really get to know them when you drive them.”
For more information visit B’s Ride Service on Facebook or call (517) 231-5663.