Amir Morning, 23, is the owner and sole operator of the Madtown Hopper, a free electric transportation service for intoxicatedcollege students in downtown Madison, Wisconson. His customers are students who’ve had too much fun to be able to drive themselves home.
For such party-goers, Morning provides a reliable and free service in his neon-lit, electric-powered car.
Inspired by a similar service he saw while visiting Miami, Morning fell in love with the idea- only he wanted to take it a step further. He doesn’t charge his passengers anything and only accepts what they offer voluntarily.
He discussed the idea with his girlfriend who loved it as well and they bought two Hoppers which they immediately put to work. However, his girlfriend’s father didn’t cotton to the idea and made her sell her car to competitors. Her dad simply did not understand the lack of ambition behind the idea.
This ordeal sparked the beginning of an ongoing tension between Morning and his girlfriend, leading to the end of their relationship. It also created friction between him and Green Cab which led to him becoming the sole operator of Madtown Hopper.
But while he suffered personal losses, there are many who are thankful to Morning’s mad, mad idea.
“The beauty of Madtown Hopper is that the wait is only about five minutes,” says Amir Morning, “Five to 10 minutes and we’re there because we’re only in the downtown area.”
Here is the Madtown Hopper in action:
Things are rolling-he’s working with a company to develop a smartphone app and is looking for sponsors to get more cars and hire additional drivers.
“We’re looking to seal the deal here soon, and as soon as we seal the deal there are definitely going to be more cars out on the road,” he says. “Instead of giving 200 to 300 rides a night, hopefully we’re looking at 1,000 rides a night at least.”
But no matter how well he does and how much his network expands, this downtown hero intends to keep the service free.
“My business model is pretty much to keep it free, forever,” he says. “I’m not going to charge anybody anything. I'd rather go out of business than start to charge anybody for a ride.”