Uber good
Rideshare program off to solid start in Waukesha County

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Aug. 21, 2015

Uber driver Dale Kolbus stands with the Lexus he uses for driving customers.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

CITY OF PEWAUKEE - Providing rides in his Lexus via the Uber rideshare program has given new resident Dale Kolbus an opportunity to learn the metro Milwaukee area, while earning some money and advertising his skin care business.

“There are a lot of diverse people and for the most part people are pleasant,” Kolbus said Thursday from his City of Pewaukee home. “I love doing it; it’s a great time. It is getting me more business contacts.”

Kolbus began to provide rides on New Year’s Eve and said he plans to continue to be a part of Uber in the future.

Uber uses a smartphone app to connect people needing a ride to a destination with a registered driver in their area. The service is worldwide and began in Waukesha on May 15.

Four Uber cars are seen in the Waukesha area in this screen capture of the Uber app.

Lauren Altmin of Uber Technologies, Inc. said she couldn’t provide the specific number of rides given in Waukesha or the amount of drivers registered with Uber because they it is proprietary information.

“Since our launch we have been embraced by the community,” she said. “We found that people in Waukesha are excited about this new transportation option.”

Additionally, Altmin said Uber has seen more people wanting to partner with the company as drivers. So far in the Waukesha area, there are dozens of partner drivers and hundreds of trips have been taken via Uber.

“The goal is to provide access to a transportation option as reliable as running water,” Altmin said. “We have seen a great response to the platform. That said, we are always looking for more partners.”

Kolbus said he is a mortgage broker by day and owns a skin care business called Nerium International. Through that business, he earned a Lexus that has the plate FRE LEXS, which Uber riders often ask him about and which gives him a chance to discuss Nerium.

The farthest that Kolbus has taken a rider is from Brady Street in Milwaukee to Burke’s Lakeside in Oconomowoc. Generally, Kolbus said he offers his driving services one night during the week and then either a weekend night or a Sunday morning when many people use Uber to go from their hotel to the airport.

Locally, people contact Uber to get a lift from Pewaukee or Waukesha to downtown Milwaukee, or to events in the area such as the Waukesha County Fair, Kolbus said. He also provides rides to foreign students staying in area hotels who must get to grocery stores.