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Ride-Hailing Driver from Skillman Spreads the Gospel of Positivity

By Barbara A. Preston l December 8, 2022

In a town with hundreds of ride-hailing service drivers, this Montgomery resident stands out. Tomika Reid, 40, is a single mother and author who lives in a Skillman apartment with her 15-year-old daughter. She moved from Georgia to Montgomery Township for its stellar school system, she said. Also, to be close to her family in New York City. Her daughter is now a sophomore at Montgomery High School.

Tomika Reid of Skillman at Starbucks, holding five of the books she wrote. She works for Lyft as a ride-hailing service driver and tries to inspire passengers through conversation on the road as part of what she sees as a ride-hailing ministry.

Reid’s bubbly personality is evident while she chauffeurs her clients to the train station, the office, or whereever they want to go – within reason. Reid shares positivity through spreading the word of God as a sort of roving preacher. God changed her life, and she wants to share the good word and help others in turn. Mostly, she has friendly conversations and listens to people talk. She operates as sort of Cash Cab for the soul. Her passengers do not get doctrine and brimstone. She simply shares her personal story in hopes that it can help others deal with their challenges.

A reporter for Associated Press (AP), Luis Andres Henao of Skillman, recently discovered her during a lift to the Princeton Train Station. He broadcast Reid’s adventures as a Lyft driver worldwide — publishing her story on the AP wireservice. AP generates and distributes editorial content to all the top newspapers — The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Dallas Morning News — and its web feeds are accessible to more than 30,000 journalists at more than 1,300 U.S. newspapers.

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Reid told Henao that she feels the church goes beyond the brick and mortar. Though, it is not her idea to prophesize or convert anybody to a specific religious order or denomination. It is more like the spirit moves her to empathize with people. She says, “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Reid began driving for Lyft in 2017 to support her daughters, who are now 15 and 20. When she is not driving, and sharing the word of God, she spends her time parenting, helping with homework, and writing. She started what she calls “journaling” as a girl. She jotted down her feelings, her observations, and experiences. She could not explain why, she just says she was compelled to do it. She added that she had a difficult family life while growing up in New York City.

A memoir about overcoming difficult life circumstances with strength, faith, and power – and with God.

Passengers can read about how she has overcome the losses that have marked her life, because she has self-published pieces of her journal writing into five books. Her memoir, “Beyond the Tears I’ve Cried, Here I Am, Still Standing,” is a tear-jerker. It is written in the voice of a pretty teenage, native Brooklyn girl who spends her summers at Rockaway Beach and finds herself in troubling situations to the point where she had to leave her family to live with an aunt. It is intense, authentic, and, at some points almost unbelievable that a human being has to experience some of the things she has had to go through. However, people do go though a lot of difficulties, a great deal of pain in life. The memoir is a journey of Reid’s struggles dealing with life’s tragedies — robbed in her home at gunpoint, the loss of her first and second daughters’ fathers, her mom, and her sister, dealing with pain, brokenness, depression, adversity, setbacks, obstacles, disappointments, betrayal, mistakes, forgiveness and almost giving up. Her love for her daughters and God kept her going. “It may raise your eyebrow,” Reid said, “but I hope it will inspire you to keep pushing in life, to never give up, no matter what your go through.”

The Journey

Passengers sitting in the backseat of her 2019 Nissan Altima will notice she keeps copies of the books that she has written in a backseat pocket. The topics range from inspirational poetry for teens and tweens, to her memoir, to a children’s book on how to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Passengers often ask her about the books, and sometimes they buy them. “I just love inspiring people, and encouraging them to never give up,” she said during a conversation at Starbucks in Skillman. She added that she has a five star out of five rating from her passengers. “I never thought I would be a writer,” she says. “ I just love to write.”

“Nicolli and the Shining Star,” is about a fouryear- old girl who’s father died. Reid wrote it to help a child cope with the loss of a loved one.

She admits that she likes to play George Michael on the car stereo on weekdays. Lucky passengers will get to listen to gospel music on Sundays when she’s working and can’t make it to church. She says she stopped driving for two years during the pandemic, then started again in 2020. “Remember, all things are possible,” she says. “You are not here by accident. Turn your pain “Suzie Sings This Is The Color,” is a book to help children learn their main colors in a fun way. What a way to learn and sing! A quote and poem guide book to inspire readers through the storms they may face in life. into a purpose and use it in a positive way.” “This is just something God put me here to do. It brings joy to me. It’s like I’ve turned my pain into a purpose to inspire others.”

As noted in the Associated Press story: “Lyft’s guidelines do not expressly prohibit evangelism nor conversations about religion, but they do promote inclusion and forbid discrimination, including on race, gender, and religious grounds.”


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