THE UNEXPECTED IDEA THAT LAUNCHED THIS ENTREPRENEUR’S BUSINESS
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge may be the scariest bridge in America. What makes the Bay Bridge so terrifying for some people is its height — 200 feet in some places — and the fact that it’s 4.3 miles long, across open water in an area that’s been known to experience sudden violent weather. The low barricades don’t help either. (And we won’t even get into how it dives under the sea into its tunnel segment.)
The closest runner-up is probably the unnervingly tall and old Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
An enterprising guy named Alex Robinson realized that the fear of high bridges — gephyrophobia — represented an interesting business opportunity. He started Bay Bridge Drive-Overs, a company whose only function is driving white-knuckled people in their own cars over the Bay Bridge to work or anywhere else they need to go. And business is just booming, often with dozens of trips a day. There are other drive-over companies now doing this at the Bay Bridge and drive-over services for the Mackinac Bridge, too.
So with not much in the way of qualifications other than a driver’s license, a small investment, and a patient demeanor for keeping his customers chill, Robinson has built himself a thriving career. It’s a great example of how meeting a real need people have — no matter how small or odd it may seem at first — can be the key to a profitable, sustainable business.