Marietta company offers rides home from bars

Photo by Michael Kelly The White Knight Rides vehicle sits in a space by the Hackett Hotel. The new ride sharing service, which operates on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, began about three weeks ago.

MARIETTA — Looking to fill a need, Josh Ott, the bar manager at The Galley in downtown Marietta, has launched a weekend evening service to get people around the city safely.

White Knight Rides, a one-vehicle ride sharing operation, will transport people for a flat rate fare on nights when the bars, lounges and restaurants are busiest and the demand for taxis is greatest: from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Travelers might have to share the vehicle, a 2011 Ford Flex that seats seven people, with other passengers. Fares are zoned, and Ott said the service will cover Marietta, Reno, Devola and Williamstown. The service started three weeks ago, Ott said, and it’s doing well.

Ott said the idea was hatched by a previous bar manager at The Galley and fits in well with one of its other operations, White Knight Limousines.

“We’ve gotten some feedback and people really seem to like it,” he said.

Word, he said, is getting around through bartenders and servers.

“It’s simple to use, you just call or you can even walk up,” he said. The car is stationed at the valet space of the Hackett Hotel on Second Street. The fares are $5 within Marietta, $7 to Williamstown and Devola and $10 to Reno. The charge is per person.

Ott said he hopes the service helps keep people who have had too much to drink from driving and endangering themselves and others. Taxis are sometimes difficult to get during hours when the bars are busy, he said.

Mary Eddy, owner of the Norwood Tavern, said the service is welcome.

“We would use it any time, because, I tell you, it’s sad. We don’t have any Uber, we’ve got one Lyft driver, and taxis are hard to get,” she said. “I would think all the bars and restaurants would like it.”

It’s not unusual on a weekend night for a customer to wait up to an hour for a taxi, she said.

“Anytime on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, I could have several people wait 45 minutes or an hour for a taxi,” she said.

At the Harmar Tavern, server Madeline Gray said she not only recommends White Knight Rides, she already uses it.

“I will use it for my customers, and I personally use it,” she said. “They’re prompt and fast.”

White Knight Rides can be contacted at 740-350-1102.

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White Knight Rides

* What: A way of getting around the Marietta area through ride sharing on weekend nights

* When: Service is available from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights

* Where: Marietta vicinity, including Devola, Williamstown and Reno

* Contact: 740-350-1102

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