Jamie Kinard works two jobs and drives for Uber on the side, not because she needs the money, but because she loves her home.
“I just enjoy telling people about the area, that I grew up in, I’ve lived here my entire life pretty much, it’s just a way to reach out,” Kinard said.
Although she enjoys the extra cash, “For me, it’s fun play money, for some people, that is their living; that is their life,” she said.
That’s why many Uber drivers are concerned over a recent suspension of the ridesharing service in Sea Pine’s gated community.
“Obviously with Heritage coming, Easter, you’re getting into tourist season, a lot of money is made out of Sea Pines,” she said, “Coming out of the winter season, it’s kind of a real shock for them not to be able to count on that money.”
And it’s not just the drivers. Terry Bergeron, who has lived at Sea Pines for 20 years, took to Facebook saying she’d rather have a few extra Uber drivers on her street than drunk drivers.
And Whit Johnson, who grew up at Sea Pines, says Ubers come in handy.
“Being out and about at the bars, call Uber real fast and they’ll take me home,” Johnson said, “I don’t see why they couldn’t let them in….they probably have some disagreement when it comes to money.”
Charging ride services within gated communities is nothing new on the island. Places like Shipyard and Hilton Head Plantation have contracts with Uber that charge a $2 fee to the company when the driver enters the gates.
Kinard says the fee isn’t the issue, it’s the “unavailable” message that shows up when residents or resort guests try to request an Uber from inside the gates.
“You cannot request out of Sea Pines right now, so if you’re coming from Savannah airport to sea pines, you can get in, but you cannot make a request to leave out of Sea Pines right now,” she said.
And if a resident or guest takes an Uber in to Sea Pines, they will have to pay the standard $6 entry fee.
Sea Pines said Thursday that they are working on a statement.