A new designated driver service in Morgantown could start as early as next month, its owner said this week.

Eric Watkins created Dub V Safe Ride LLC and has spent the last year working with state regulators on the company.

The state Public Service Commission previously ruled it has no authority to regulate the service.  Watkins submitted an application to the PSC for a certificate to operate the company in April 2012, but the PSC dismissed it, saying Dub V Safe Ride does not require oversight from the commission.

Watkins plans to hire employees who will ride a small, foldable scooter to customers who call for service.  The employee would then put the scooter in the trunk of the customer’s car, which the employee would drive to the customer’s desired location.  At that point, the worker would retrieve the scooter and head to the next call.

Rides within a certain target area would cost $10 for pickup and an additional $1 per mile.  Some rides would require a $15 pickup fee, Watkins said.

Anyone wanting to use the service will have to be a member, Watkins said.  Memberships will be free, but are important for insurance reasons, he said.

The idea hit Watkins several years ago when he saw a similar set up on a TV show.  He says the goal is to eliminate DUIs.

“People are getting killed because of drinking and driving, and there is no good transportation when people want to drink,” Watkins said.

Long lines at the downtown cab stand have long frustrated bar patrons in Morgantown.  Watkins says Dub V Safe Ride could help alleviate that problem.

The goal is to have the service fully operational by late March or early April, Watkins said.

“I’m clear to go.  It took the PSC a while, but they’ve never seen this before.  So they had some questions about that, which I guess they figured out,” Watkins said.  “Now I’m clear to open.”

Dub V is currently hiring and looking for drivers, Watkins said.  A website is already online and the company is working to create a mobile application.

 

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