‘Usually people just jump in my car’ Lyft driver voices Five Points concerns

‘Usually people just jump in my car’ Lyft driver voices Five Points concerns
Lyft Driver John Knapp

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - We are hearing from concerns from a Lyft Driver who frequently picks up in Five Points.

John Knapp who started with Lyft last year says Five Points is more than busy.

"It's just a wild scene, anyone who's hung out in Five Points, remember what it was like when you were in college at 1, 2 in the morning when these bars let out. That’s what it is, every night, Knapp said. "You can have anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen Lyft and Uber drivers all in the same area, at the same time picking people up.

The atmosphere and the traffic of unique people flowing through the area have left him with some concerns.

"Usually people just jump in my car. I would say, it is less common for somebody to ask me my name," Knapp said.

He says simple steps like asking for the name of your driver and getting them to say yours, could increase safety.

He also says more information needs to get out on the pick-up and drop off hub at Santee Avenue.

"I did not know that this was for us until the news started telling me that this was for us. Getting the word to the students that they need to walk to that spot, because if we're going to be corralled there, we're going to be corralled there, we have to stay there," Knapp said, and if drivers have to stay in that spot, they will not be able to complete routes if nobody walks to them.

Columbia Police officials say info on the zones was sent to students at the beginning of the 2018 school year.

In light of all this, he says the Josephson case, should change a lot on how we operate.

"Those of us who are adults and as parents of people in Columbia we need to communicate to them that Columbia is a safe city, but you should never be anywhere by yourself," Knapp said.

Knapp also wanted to say he will now be more aware of who he sees driving in Five points, potentially representing Lyft and Uber and he will be looking out for suspicious activity.

We do want to note, the man accused of killing Samantha Josephson, does not have any ties to ridesharing, at least not that night.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin stated that this topic would be addressed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. That includes, expanding the pick-up and drop off zones to other districts and asking rideshare companies to require drivers to use those areas.

Copyright 2019 WIS. All rights reserved.