Lyft for Christmas lights?
December 21, 2020 2:42 PM   Subscribe

My mom and I have an annual tradition of going to the Jerry Jingle Highway and looking at the Christmas lights. Because Mom lives out of state, she’s unable to go this year. I would like to get a video of the lights for her. Is there a way I could get a Lyft to just drive through the part of town with the lights?

I have basically been in quarantine since the start of COVID and have tested negative for the virus. The only people I’ve come into contact with have been my boyfriend (who works from home) and my landlord (who lives downstairs).
posted by pxe2000 to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
no, lyft and uber aren't appropriate for this. The routing/billing doesn't work this way. Random driver may not have a working video camera / phone storage / speak your language / have any interest in doing this.

Try metafilter jobs, craigslist, a town facebook group, nextdoor, something where you can coordinate on someone who has the proper equipment+technique (filming christmas lights is tricky due to the dark + pinpoint light sources that you don't want washed out).
posted by TheAdamist at 2:56 PM on December 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I have a camera and just wanted to shoot video out the window.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:59 PM on December 21, 2020

Best answer: Are you planning to be in the car filming and you just want them to drive? That might work, assuming the Lyft and Uber are running in your area and are allowed to drive people for 'nonessential' tasks. I would tell them what you want and afford a generous tip - maybe double the official fee since the drive will take longer per mile than usual. It still might not come out very well but if it includes your voice-over commentary your mom will probably appreciate it.

If you do, wear a mask, keep the windows open, ask them not to direct their fans towards the back seat. Don't touch your face until you can get home without cleaning your hands first.

If you want them to the filming, you need to hire someone specifically for the task (see suggestions above)
posted by metahawk at 3:04 PM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Metahawk: I was going to sit in the back seat and aim my phone out the window to get some janky footage. I was not going to ask the driver to shoot the footage for me.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:12 PM on December 21, 2020

Lyft lets you add stops after you input your destination, but before you request a driver, i dont see an option like this for uber pre-ride(maybe during? i dunno). last time i tried car shares, lyft supply was nonexistent by me, and ubers were 20+mins away for what thats worth.

I'd try inputting your neighbors address for the destination, add stops at the beginning and end of the lights route you want, and after a driver accepts, call them and discuss the situation, offer a big tip. Be prepared to cancel and try again if the driver declines. with lack of drivers you might have to wait before re-requesting so you dont get the same one.

I don't know the jerry jingle highway, but if traffic is at a crawl through there, im not sure drivers would be happy about driving it.
posted by TheAdamist at 3:14 PM on December 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

In theory, this is possible to do with a rideshare. In practice, I've found that not all drivers are comfortable deviating from the route stated in the app. There is also Uber Hourly.
posted by oceano at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2020

You could try a local livery car service if they still exist near you. You might be able to speak to someone before booking in a way you can't with Lyft/Uber.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 3:29 PM on December 21, 2020

Best answer: Are there no actual metered cabs in your region? A metered cab doesn't care much how long you take to do something as long as the meter is running the whole time.

There are also often limo services / tour companies that conduct holiday lights driving tours in most cities I have lived in. The bus tours probably aren't running this year, but the car service ones would do it and might offer a more predictable cost than a Lyft or a metered cab.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:34 PM on December 21, 2020 [10 favorites]

Could you use something like Fiverr and have someone else shoot the video? That way you would avoid paying someone to perform a nonessential task that would require them to increase their Covid risk.

This is all assuming your boyfriend or landlord couldn’t drive you.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:32 PM on December 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

You could go out on foot and either set your video to time-lapse or put together a slideshow video of stills and/or short clips. It seems crummy to hire a driver, potentially putting them at risk, for this.
posted by wreckingball at 8:15 PM on December 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

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