This Is Carolina: Grand Strand Uber driver celebrates passengers by writing a book

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:34 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Jeff Hoenig loves being an Uber driver.

“There’s nothing better than to have people get out of the car laughing and saying this is the best ride I’ve ever had,” said Hoenig.

It’s been his goal after retiring from the courier service and joining the company in 2018.

Koenig enjoys playing trivia games with his passengers and sharing their fascinating stories with other riders. One includes a woman letting him try on a Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl ring.

“I want to entertain them and show them something they’ve never seen and the third thing is, I want them to have fun,” he said.

His ride is certainly a unique experience and so is his car.

“Welcome to my museum. Lilly [the mannequin head] gets a lot of attention. Some people take pictures of her,” he quipped.

Hoenig, also known as the “Sunshine Man,” started his museum with a positive message posted in his car and a couple of sports hats on the dashboard as a conversation starter.

“I have my Giants, Yankees and Knicks hats and so that would get attention, especially from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts,” said Hoenig.

His passengers quickly helped it grow with their own stories to tell, through newspaper clippings, pictures and money. Hoenig rattled off the 40 different types of monies from 38 countries that cover his interior. His favorites are hanging front and center.

“The first one and the last one I got was from South Africa with Nelson Mandela on the front there,” he said. “I want people to see not only how different the money is, but I want to show them how different it is to say thank you.”

The memorabilia and memorable conversations inspired Hoenig to create two blogs and write a book called Driving on the Sunny Side with 10,000 Strangers. It’s a compilation of motivational quotes, funny moments and his 50 top rides.

“The book is really dedicated to people even if they’re not in the book, some of them have made my day and some of them are unforgettable,” said Hoenig.

He also gifts passengers during the holiday season with a sheet of his favorite passenger quotes.

“I want people to feel like I’m their friend,” said Hoenig.

Hoenig hopes the theme of his book and his candid conversations will do just that.

“Wherever you are, whether it’s in an Uber or in a Lyft or in a grocery store, you have the power to change people’s day,” he said.

Click here if you’d like to read his book.

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