Designated driver program opens in ToledoWritten by Amy Biolchini | | ABiolchini@toledofreepress.com
With 15 drivers on call, Be My Designated Driver (BeMyDD) opened its services in Toledo Sept. 27. The company is an alternative personal transportation service that boasts “We drive your car, so you don’t have to.”
Founded by Miami University alum Arthur Simanovsky and Kent State University grad Alexa Milkovich, both class of 2009, BeMyDD started March 2010 for St. Patrick’s Day in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. In addition to opening its Toledo branch, BeMyDD is launching operations in Lexington, Lousiville, Ky., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“We’re going national by the end of 2011,” Simanovsky said. “This is something no one’s ever done before.”
BeMyDD offers two services: Customers can pre-arrange a designated driver or call for a pickup. The main difference between BeMyDD and traditional taxi or limousine services is that the drivers use the client’s personal vehicle. According to BeMyDD’s website, a 4-hour trip would ring up a taxi fare of $86.50 and $200 for a chauffeured sedan. BeMyDD is able to offer the same service for $50.
Designated drivers meet clients at their homes and drive them wherever they desire, charging a flat rate of $12.50 per hour. They must be booked two hours in advance for a minimum of three hours. When clients call for a pickup service, a team of two drivers meet the client at their location to take them home. The rate is $25 for the pickup plus $2.95 per mile for the first 10 miles. After 10 miles, the rate is $1.50 per mile.
“We’ve definitely seen the need for the service. Initially we thought it would be just for drinking and driving, but we’re opening business accounts now,” Simanovsky said.
Simanovsky said BeMyDD subcontracts approximately 20 drivers per city and has an umbrella insurance policy to cover up to $1 million per incident. Drivers dress conservatively and are at least 25 years old with professional training. Drivers can also be arranged for airport transportation, events and weddings, assistance to the elderly and medical transportation.
“Service is provided 24 hours a day and we take reservations until 11 p.m.,” Simanovsky said.
All payment transactions are done by credit card at the end of the night, a feature Simanovsky implemented from his own personal experience after ending up with empty pockets after a night on the town.
Milkovich said BeMyDD has contacted many Toledo bars and is currently talking to several establishments. According to its website, three local establishments are connected to BeMyDD.
To arrange for a designated driver or pickup service, call 1-877-823-6933 or visit www.bemydd.com.