Mark Roberts can’t help but to feel a tiny glimmer of pride when he hears someone refer to CityScoot, his designated-driver service, as a verb instead of a proper noun. “It’s become part of the vernacular. People say they’re going to CityScoot home, they’ll ask each other, ‘Are you CityScooting tonight?’ To be honest, it’s pretty cool.”
But to be frank, it’s not enough, Roberts said. “Socially, the business has been phenomenal. We changed that social responsibility landscape, but are we where we want to be? Absolutely not. We started the business, on Sept. 1, 2004, and have driven almost 60,000 people home safely.”
Roberts and his staff would like to see that number grow exponentially, and now that they’re offering a brand-new service that’s being backed by leaders in the alcohol industry and area bar owners, that goal could soon come to fruition.
CityScoot is now offering rides for a flat fare from any one of six participating St. Matthews bars: BBC East St. Matthews; Diamonds Pub & Billiards; Gerstle’s Place; Molly Malone’s St. Matthews; Saints Pizza and Pub; and Zazoo’s Bar & Grill. Pay $9 and CityScoot will take you and your vehicle safely home within a two-mile radius anytime between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Sunday. (Additional mileage costs the standard rate of $3.50/mile.)
“It’s going to be the future of who we are and how we work,” said Roberts, who credits the financial backing of Captain Morgan with what has thus far been a successful pilot program. “If this works well here in St. Matthews, it could be adopted as a national campaign. I’m thrilled that it’s happening in St. Matthews … and that they’re showing such a level of commitment. It’s important for me that this program works right now. From a large-scale impact, this is the key.”
“We are trying to do the right thing,” said Bott, vice president and general sales manager of the Bluegrass Division of Southern Wine & Spirits, which distributes Captain Morgan. “This program is the perfect vehicle to go about that. We’re looking to grow and looking to take it further in the city. We have expectations to go as deep as thirty-plus bars around town. … We got it off the ground, and we’re trying to get our bearings before we go broader with it, but we’re in for the long haul.”
So are bar owners, who pay a monthly fee to supplement the financial backing provided to CityScoot by Captain Morgan. “It’s just a better way to get people home,” said Bruce Jarrett, who co-owns Saints with Cliff Amos. “It actually just makes more sense.”
Personally, Jarrett uses CityScoot “all the time.” Professionally, he hopes his patrons do too, but at the very least, he believes businesses that offer the service will gain from a liability standpoint, which could – and should – eventually mean lower insurance rates.
“I can say we offered (a customer) a taxi, we offered him CityScoot. We did everything we can do. It helps us if something (tragic) were to happen. It’s just a better way to home at the end of the night because you never know. Ultimately, I think from a liability standpoint, too, I can say we offered him a taxi, we offered him CityScoot. We did everything we can do. It helps us if something like that were to happen. We’re taking some of the liability off (the insurance companies), too.”
As Roberts works to get the concept to catch on around the city and beyond, he said he’s also grateful to companies like Captain Morgan and Brown-Forman – which offers free use of CityScoot to all of its employees and continues to work closely with Roberts – because they get what he’s worked years to impart about making the designated driver service affordable for everyone.
“This isn’t just an expense. This is an investment,” said Roberts. “You are making this investment in your customers, in your clients, … in your community.”
Writer Angie Fenton can be reached at 502.551.2698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CityScoot St. Matthews
What: Pay CityScoot a flat fare of $9 from any one of six participating St. Matthews bars, and the company will take you and your vehicle safely home within a two-mile radius anytime between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Sunday. Additional mileage costs the standard rate of $3.50/mile.
Which bars: BBC East St. Matthews; Diamonds Pub & Billiards; Gerstle’s Place; Molly Malone’s St. Matthews; Saints Pizza and Pub; and Zazoo’s Bar & Grill.
Contact: 502.566.6384 – 502.56.NO.DUI – or www.cityscoot.com.
Etc.: Normally, CityScoot charges a $9 pick up fee and then $3.50 per mile to deliver you and your vehicle home.
What is CityScoot?
After you call and request a CityScoot driver, he or she arrives via a foldable scooter or a chase car driven by one of his or her colleagues. The designated driver-for-hire then takes and your vehicle safely home.
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.