Winter 2016

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Ride Along Think every Uber ride is the same? Think again. Markley Medina brings us the Uber VIP Experience. BY CHRISTIE GALEANO PORTRAIT BY FELIPE CUEVAS 92 Generally speaking, an Uber trip is routine from one ride to the next. Until now. Markley Medina, 29, is the creator of the Uber Me VIP Experience and the self-proclaimed South Florida Uber King. While there are more than 450,000 daily Uber drivers in the United States, Medina has created an encounter that might just be the most pulse-raising. As the car door swings open, a light cloud of smoke reveals a world unlike any other. Multicolored lasers and lights flash, 26-inch TV screens beam, animal masks adorn the headrests, water bottles glow green and the music beats boom in the night air. If you're searching for an unforgettable adventure, Medina is ready to take you on the best ride of your life. The Ride: A 2013 Chevy Suburban that seats seven, has 14 customized speakers, headlights that change color to the beat of the music, LED-lit rims and more than 25 different lasers and lights. The Inspiration: People always have fun inside the VIP section at a club. So I decided to bring that personalized VIP vibe into my car. I have always been creative, but I needed a way to take my creativity to the next level, and Uber gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that. The Journey: One night I had a dream that a wild Uber driver picked me up in style and took me on an epic ride. When I woke up, I knew that needed to be me. At the beginning, I didn't have a lot of money so I bought one laser or one light every week. It took me one year to get the car to where it is today. The Investment: $30,000, and I've put almost 100,000 miles on it in one year. The Celebrities: I've picked up rapper G-Eazy several times in Miami. One of my best experiences was when I picked up Vanilla Ice and we jammed out to "Ice Ice Baby" in the car. The Experience: People in my car are always smiling, and I love that. I am always bringing positive vibes to my passengers. If I can take their minds off of a bad day for even one second, I've done my job. Plus, thanks to Spotify I have an endless selection of playlists, so I can take passengers back to a moment in their lives with just one song, which is pretty cool to see. Future Plans: I'd love to work with Uber and get the Uber Me VIP Experience into every city in the country. It's all about getting the right drivers. I've already started expanding with one business partner who has the same high energy as I do. I've also recently been booked for birthday, bachelorette and even tailgate parties. Everyone wants to roll in style. How to Book: You can find my scheduling link on my Instagram (@ubermevip). It will take you to my Calendly site where you can schedule your ride. v

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