A private transport company designed to provide a chauffeur to get people home safe after a night out is set to expand.
HomeSafe provides a professional driver to take people home in their own car and the driver uses a foldable electric motorcycle packed in the trunk to return to base after the customer is dropped off.
HomeSafe Bermuda plans to add four new electric mini-motorcycles to the one already operational with vans as back-up. The company said it would also move from a membership-only service to an open-caller system.
The company’s spokeswoman Zina Edwards Malcolm said that Carlton Crockwell, a former chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council and chief operating officer of Security Associates, launched the service last year after Bermuda Security Group brought the concept, based on a model in Cayman, to Bermuda.
Ms Edwards Malcolm said: “We knew that Bermuda had an issue with driving impaired or driving while tired, which is equally dangerous.
“There is also a significant number of drivers who have issues driving at night.
“It seems to be something that is very salient to Bermuda’s driving population particularly with what Drive For Change, Cada, A Piece of the Rock and the Road Safety Council are identifying in terms of our road statistics.”
Customers are charged per ride for zones that radiate from Hamilton. Trips to destinations in Hamilton, Paget and Devonshire cost $30 and travel to the outer parishes costs $50.
HomeSafe said pre-bookings were encouraged but a call-in service from Thursdays to Saturdays was available. The service runs until 3.30am.
Ms Edwards Malcolm said: “All our officers wear a uniform and have a security licence and a proper driver’s licence. The drivers are security officers, which has a driving component. Putting someone in somebody else’s car isn’t a common thing so he [Dr Crockwell] made sure that the liabilities were assessed and the staffing was adequate.”
“We are really excited about what it means — you go out, you don’t want to leave your car in town. You don’t want to have to pay a parking ticket in the morning or have the inconvenience of trying to get back to your car in the morning.”
She added: “You can also still be over the limit the next morning.”
Paula Clarke, chief executive officer at the Gibbons Company, has used the service.
She said: “I was out one evening with a group of friends and I wanted my car for the next day so it was very easy to be able to go out, go to the theatre, go for something to eat and then just call the service to let them know in advance what time I would be finished.
“Just before you are ready to leave you give a call and the gentleman comes along and drives you home in your car very safely.
“The people are extremely professional and drive with due care and attention. The next day the car is there ready for you to use.”
The new bikes are expected to be on the roads in time for the summer season.
• For more information on HomeSafe Bermuda, visit homesafebermuda.com