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Columbus service provides designated drivers

BeMyDD is a new transportation service in Columbus that gets customers and their cars where they need to be when they can’t drive.

“We are not a taxi company,” said Arthur Simanovsky, 23, co-owner of BeMyDD. “We take you and your car back home.”

BeMyDD’s rates compare to taxi rates. The company also gives customers the convenience of keeping their own cars with them.

BeMyDD’s “Designated Driver Service” is $12.50 per hour. The service gives customers a designated driver who drives where the customers ask for at least three hours, waits for them and drives them home.

“I try to bring a laptop or magazine that I read 10 times over,” said Driver Marco Scullion, 37. “But for an eight-hour shift, I usually get a $50 to $100 tip.”

The company also offers a “Pick Up You AND Your Car Service” for $2.95 for the first 10 miles, $1.50 per additional mile and a $25 flat rate that is split between the company and the driver.

“The reason we started the company is that we like to go out in Cleveland, but we live in the suburbs,” Simanovsky said. “For us to take a taxi down, it gets really expensive. It’s always best to use a (designated driver), but nobody really wants to play that role. Why not be able to hire someone to do the role?”

All of the company’s drivers are at least 25 years old, hired locally, insured and undergo background checks. Drivers are on-call every day of the week at any time, but reservations for drivers are made at least two hours in advance. The service in Columbus has 30 drivers.

Scullion, a full-time professional driver who also works for BeMyDD, said his motivation for being a part of the company is to keep people, including his 6-year-old daughter Mercedes, safe.

“We can do some good for the sons and daughters losing their lives to drunk drivers,” Scullion said. “I want to provide a good, safe life for my daughter.”

The company does not only cater to people who have had too much to drink.

“Most people who use the service are around 35 and up,” Simanovsky said. “The kids in or just out of college utilize it, but not as much as we were hoping.”

Some students like the idea.

“It sounds like a good program,” said Spencer Teeters, a second-year in mechanical engineering. “People are bad enough drivers sober, so I think it’s a good program. It’s an improvement over taxis, so I’ll always go for that.”

BeMyDD started in Cleveland on March 14 and is also operating in Columbus and Cincinnati, with plans to expand out of state. BeMyDD can be contacted at 1-877-823-6933 and BeMyDD.com.

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