Uber cars are everywhere.
And for many people, this well-known mode of transportation is fast becoming the way to go when seeking a ride.
Now, an enterprising 16-year-old has taken this concept and personalized it, creating a similar service for local senior citizens — The Schleppers — offering affordable, private transportation in the Oakland County area.
Jackson Partrich of West Bloomfield, who’ll be a senior at Frankel Jewish Academy (FJA) this coming school year, said his love for his grandparents was the driving force in starting his business, which began operations in March 2017 and now includes two other drivers.
“I love spending time with my grandparents and listening to their stories,” the personable Partrich said. “Also, FJA has wonderful programs that teach us to give back to the community. One way students give back is helping the senior citizen community. These days, Uber is so popular, so I thought of merging Uber with the needs of seniors.”
Giving back to the community is just one part of the values the active youth uses in all areas of his life. Partrich, who attends services at Southfield-based Congregation Shaarey Zedek with his family, is a member of BBYO, Friendship Circle, the National Honor Society and FJA’s varsity soccer team. In everything he does, he promotes the ideas of both tikkun olam, and dor l’dor, creating a connection between generations.
“At Schleppers, it’s all about making bonds with seniors,” he explained. “Our slogan is: ‘A Ride to Take, A Bond to Make.’ Schleppers is about bringing the high school senior community together with the senior adult community.
“We’ll drive people wherever they need to go — to doctors’ appointments, stores, restaurants or to visit family and friends.”
Two of Partrich’s riders have expressed their pleasure with The Schleppers service and the positive attributes of its young creator.
Rosemarie Karbal calls Partrich her friend and has used The Schleppers many times.
“I’ve found them to be on-time, courteous and willing to help me in any way,” she said. “They go above and beyond.”
Another rider, Fern Kepes, agreed. “Jackson is a responsible, hard-working young man. He’s always polite and very helpful. He takes his business and clients very seriously. He’s friendly, polite and respectful, and I’d highly recommend him to any of my family and friends.”
Clients interested in using his service can simply visit The Schleppers website (www.theschleppers.com) and fill out an intake card outlining their needs. Partrich’s rates range from $8 for pick-up and drop-off to $12 an hour running errands.
Partrich said he and his other drivers have handled a dozen different customers thus far, and due to strong demand, he plans to add additional employees. He noted his business experiences will serve him well. His plans include attending the University of Michigan, where he’ll major in political science and minor in the university’s Innovate Blue entrepreneurship program.
“I’ve learned about the importance of time management and organization, and how important personal relationships are when running a business,” he noted.
“I’m a great listener, a responsible and careful driver and an enthusiastic companion,” Partrich said. “Seniors may not feel comfortable calling an Uber or using that technology. I’m excited to offer my services to make seniors’ lives easier, more efficient and more fun, too!”
Judy Greenwald Contributing Writer