Service Offers Designated Driver with a Twist

RIDEonomy drives a drinker home in drinker’s car

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    by Bruce Felps

    Don’t drink and drive — sage advice. It saves lives, it saves jail time, it saves money in legal fees, it saves drivers’ licenses, and it saves reputations.

    Taxis, of course, and designated drivers are two ways to heed that advice. But what, pray tell, is a tippler to do after realizing — right— that driving might not be the best idea but his or her car is parked out in the bar lot where it might be vandalized or towed if left overnight?

    A firm called RIDEonomy has a suggestion: call them. It’ll cost you but at least you and your ride arrive home at the same time, and you won’t have driven drunk.

    The company offers multiple options that, honestly, I find a little hard to follow. The basic idea, though, is that customers pay an annual membership fee — individual, family [?], group, business, and bar owner on behalf of patrons — ranging from $500 a year to $15,000.

    For simplicity’s sake, let’s stick with the individual plan. A person pays $500 a year, goes out and gets a snootful, in a moment of lucidity calls RIDEonomy, waits about 30 minutes, slurs a welcome to the driver — who drove over with a fellow RIDEonomy employee, gets in the passenger seat of his or her own car, and allows the RIDEonomy rep to drive to the member’s home followed by the other RIDEonomy person.

    That costs an extra $40 beyond the membership fee because RIDEonomy drivers, I guess, work for tips.

    It looks like there might still be a few bugs to work out. The company’s website fails to list its business address or operating area, there are no published phone numbers just yet even though there should be by now, according to the website — only a general e-mail address — and no mention of whether or not the drivers are bonded and insured, which might be a good thing to know considering you’re drunk and a stranger is about to have access to your home assuming the front door key is on the same ring as the car key.

    Other than that, solid plan.


    Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Yeah, he’s going to pass.

    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, NBC 5, NBCDFW.com or its employees.