Steve Simoff makes the 70 miles commute from his home in Davis City, Mo. to his job at Lakeside Casino in Osceola, Iowa.
Photo: Forrest Gump_Paramount Pictures
The casino janitor walks along Highway 35 hoping to get a lift on his 35 mile trek to work. His commute now takes him on average 4 hours per day. He achieves this by getting a lift 60% of the time for part of the way- that’s why he prefers walking the long distance along the crowded highway. Over the years he has created a community of commuters who meet up with him during the hitch. He has saved thousands of dollars on gas.
His story mirrors that of James Robertson in Detroit, whose 21 mile commute made national headlines and motivated a college student to raise via Kickstarter campaign $350,000 via Kickstarter campaign to fund a car, gas, and insurance.
Unlike Robertson, Simoff does have a car, a 2002 Ford Windstar minivan, but gas is a luxury he can rarely afford.
But Simoff’s community often helps him on his way.
“Everybody in the county knows him as far as I know,” said Herbert Muir, who has been the sheriff of Decatur County for 17 years. Muir and his officers have given Simoff rides to work in the past. “There’s no danger about him or anything. He’s personable. He’s not been in trouble. He just walks.”
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