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Driving Uber in Milwaukee: A Firsthand Look at the Culture of Rideshare Apps

Kristopher Volkman

Although rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have continued to make headlines for various controversies, it's rare that we get an inside look at how they work. Milwaukee Magazine's article Driving Through Time: Confessions of an Uber Driver is a firsthand account of what it's like to be an Uber driver in Milwaukee.

Writer Tom Tolan was working at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before accepting a buyout at the end of 2014. As his severance pay was nearing its end, he and his wife decided it was time to look at alternative sources of income. 

"I had done some freelance work, but I also picked up this Uber job and did a little at first and then more and more," says Tolan. "It's a little addictive. You know, you get out there and you get another ride order, and it's hard to turn it down." 

Tolan had worked as a cab driver years ago, and found that working for the rideshare app was pretty similar. And although he found a new job as a copy editor at Milwaukee Magazine, he continues to work as an Uber driver. 

"It's fun meeting people from other countries, and just getting a sense of what their life was like before they got here and what life is like adjusting to a place like Milwaukee," he says. 

Tolan's full article, Driving Through Time: Confessions of an Uber Driver, is featured in the May edition of Milwaukee Magazine