Through the heavy traffic, last minute classes and busy game day driving, some relief has come to the University of Tennessee. Joyride, a point to point transportation system featuring golf carts offers students and residents the ability to ride anywhere, anytime.
Offering free transportation, Joyride operates with golf carts to transport riders around campus and the surrounding areas. While the ride itself is free, riders are encouraged to tip the driver as that is their only source of payment.
While the main company is based out of Nashville, Joyride Knoxville looks to enhance the mobility of anyone interested.
Not only does Joyride cater to students but it also drives around people on game days.
“We are focusing on anything and everything,” Jared Strader, general manager of Joyride Knoxville, said. “If someone is having a wedding, we can transport from parking to the event or anything they would need.”
Currently, Joyride is operating from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., 7 days a week including holidays. On average, Strader regularly manages 5 carts daily, but more carts operate on game day. Passengers are encouraged to keep calling to ensure they get a ride.
Aside from UT, Joyride will travel to various locations near campus such as the Old City, downtown, Gay Street and Market Square.
Joyride used to operate at UT, but low passenger turnout forced the business to shut its doors. Strader now looks to keep the company running all year while decreasing the amount of carts during the slower months.
“The school schedule affects Joyride as much as the passengers,” Strader said. “We took such a hit but now that I know what to expect, I can send carts to Nashville to save on cost.”
Despite some of the slower times on the job, senior driver Adam Townsend shared his enjoyment of driving for Joyride.
“It’s a blast,” Townsend said. “You get to drive a golf cart around and meet different people every day.”
Employees of Joyride are able to work around their own schedule and choose days that are most convenient for them. Using an app on their phones, drivers can choose when they are able to work.
The carts are required to abide by all laws that any typical vehicle would be required to follow.
“A big focus right now is safety,” Strader said. “We have mirrors, turn signals and brake adjustments regularly. If a cart has any issues, it does not leave the garage.”
Strader also encouraged the importance of the drivers of Joyride and their dependence on the tips from the passenger.
“Drivers really appreciate tips, that’s how they get paid,” Strader said. “You’ve got to take care of your driver.”
Joyride looks to continue year round on campus. The Knoxville office located on the top floor between Walmart and Publix.