6 Surprising Facts on the Amish & Cars

What is an “Amish taxi”? Do Amish ever own or drive cars?

How do the most conservative Amish travel? Why do Amish use the horse-and-buggy? What about Uber?

Although we associate them with simpler modes of travel, many Amish depend heavily on car transport. I made a video recently looking at the role that motor vehicles play in the lives of Amish, highlighting 6 points. And, yes that is a Chevrolet insignia on the back of the young man’s carriage (runtime: 8:26).


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    1. Pat Monti

      6 Surprising Facts Amish and Cars

      Excellent video, Erik-as always! 🙂

      One thing I’ll share FWIW is that in our area (central, IL) many Amish have no challenge at all with calling “taxi” drivers very late at night or in the very wee hours of the morning to book their rides. Oftentimes it’s not for an emergency or last-minute trip to be scheduled but for one in the future. IMO that’s extremely disrespectful of the”taxi” driver.

      1. Thanks, Pat!

        And yes that does seem rather rude to call at those hours. As for early AM, I could see a farmer doing that without thinking (at 6 AM he’s already been awake a couple hours) but very late is hard to see any justification.

        1. Pat Monti

          6 Surprising Facts on the Amish & Cars

          You’re welcome, Eric!

          Regarding the very wee hours of the morning I was referring to midnight on. IMO-absolutely ridiculous!

          1. Pat Monti

            6 Surprising Facts on the Amish & Cars

            Sorry, EriK, I was thinking of another EriC I know. DUH!!!

            1. Ha no worries Pat, I get the “c” so often I hardly notice it 🙂

              Yea that’s just kind of weird to call after midnight to schedule a future ride. But if it’s someone in a pickle like Al describes below I’d view that quite differently. Sounds like you’re talking about a call that could just as easily be made during the day though.

            2. Sena

              Sabatoged in America (ME)!

              I don’t blame the Amish. I was sabatoged in this darn country!!!! I know why they don’t drive cars and shouldn’t join main stream society.

              Stick together Amish and don’t let them tell you what to do !!!! It’s the government. I have religious Reasons for wanting to live alone with my son and I’m been on waiting lists for my own housing for nearly 4 years battling homelessness. Don’t listen to anyone if you guys have a working system outside of government.

              Sena (I am a black girl with natural hair) in Indianapolis, IN 46254 eagle creek area

    2. Al in Ky

      It is also my experience with the very plan Amish (such as Swartzentruber) that they do not hire taxis or ride in cars except in emergency situations. In recent years, it seems like the meaning of “emergency” has broadened.

      As you said,Erik, the very plain Amish do use bus or train transporation. In recent years, Greyhound bus transportation has become increasingly undependable. Buses often are late or bus drivers on connecting buses don’t show up at all, and my Amish friends miss the bus they were connecting to. During the past three years, I have averaged about 3 calls per year from Amish stranded in such “emergency” situations. I have been called (sometimes late at night) to help get these Amish to their destination. Usually they have been able to find another Amish taxi driver who provides transportation who lives at the destination where they’re going. We work it out where I will take them half way to meet the other driver who takes them the rest of the way.

      On one such trip, I had an interesting conversation with my riders. They told me they are considered “bus Amish” because they usually take the bus or train to destinations where they are attending funerals or weddings, etc. Then they said the more progressive Amish are “van Amish” for they will hire an Amish taxi van to take them to such events.

      1. Al I always seem to learn something new from your comments. This time it’s bus Amish vs. van Amish, didn’t know those terms were in use (at least in this Amish corner). I enjoy hearing how different groups of Amish describe each other.

        I guess I’m not surprised that “emergency” has broadened even among the plainest Amish, human nature being what it is. But if Greyhound is offering increasingly poor service, maybe that is part of the reason for the broadening.

    3. Sena

      Read the Book of Amos

      The book of Amos is a great study piece for this day and age.