A large winter storm such as a bombogenesis tends to keep drivers off the road, but in Trey Araujo’s case, he is willing to use his driving skills to help people get around.
In a post on the Islanders Talk Facebook page, Mr. Araujo, a 22-year-old Edgartown native, is offering free rides to those in need during the stormy weather. If you are unable to drive to work or an appointment, Mr. Arajuo will pick you up and take you where you need to go. He will also check up on someone’s family member who is perhaps elderly or disabled, and needs assistance. During the tough weather, “it’s the most effective way to help the community,” he said.
Driving people in need started for Mr. Araujo about two years ago, when his mother set up a shuttling service for nurses at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. “The demand was so high,” Mr. Araujo said of the need for nurses to get to and from the hospital. Too late to take the bus, the nurses needed a ride to their homes after long shifts that sometimes ended in the early morning hours. Mr. Araujo would pick them up and drop them off.
Mr. Araujo assures people he is driving a vehicle especially adapted for operation in bad weather. He drives a 2016 Ford Fiesta ST. “It’s got snow tires, front-wheel drive, big quarter-inch aluminum steel plate; [it drives] surprisingly well for its size,” he said.
While Mr. Araujo’s car is certainly souped up, he also has extensive driving experience under his belt. In November 2016, Mr. Araujo took part in a weeklong driving training course with the Team O’Neil Rally school in Dalton, N.H. During the course, he learned to drive in snow, ice, and dirt. The course is a racing-oriented one, but spends a whole day on accident avoidance and driving safety. “The whole program adds to your ability to control your vehicle,” he said. He’s proud of his safe driving record. “Never actually been written a ticket before,” he said.
Mr. Araujo is an experienced driver with good will toward helping the community where he grew up. He also doesn’t charge for his rides. “Nope, out here on my own just for the sake of it,” he said.
Today, Mr. Araujo hasn’t received many calls, only one to check up on someone’s elderly family member. “I love it. I drive for work, I drive for pleasure. Both my jobs involved driving.”
Anyone in need of a ride can contact Mr. Araujo via Facebook.