Home in One Piece

By on June 18, 2010
RoadKing Mag

You might chuckle if you see a tiny, gas scooter driving down the streets of a city, with the rider in an orange, reflective shirt. Silly as it looks, that rider is on a mission to save lives.

Zingo Transportation is a service for those who have hoisted a few too many and need a ride home, but don’t want to go through the hassle of coming back to pick up their car.

“We provide the solution to the number one reason people drink and drive,” says Zingo creator Jim Valentine.

Valentine and his buddies discovered the concept while traveling in Europe. Scooter taxis that transport bar patrons have been around in Britain since the 1990s, but weren’t used in the U.S. They were impressed by the Di Blasi, a foldable gas bike made in Italy. It became their key business tool in starting up the scooter taxi service, and Zingo became the only importer of the bikes in the United States.

The folding bike allows Zingo drivers to ride over and pick up their customers, put the bike in the car trunk, then drive the customers home in their own vehicles. The Zingo employee can then scooter back to the next assignment to help out another tipsy patron. The company’s motto: Your ride. Your tunes. You’re safe.

“When we saw people in the U.K. using this, we just knew it was genius,” explains Valentine. “We knew at the very least our friends would use it in Atlanta.”

Zingo services are now available in 18 cities across the nation. The service has a $20 pick up fee and $2 per mile charge, which Valentine points out is cheaper than a two-way taxi ride.

“I know that we saved at least one person’s life in the first year of Zingo,” says Valentine. “Now with four years of service, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we’ve prevented some accidents out there.”

Find out more about the Zingo in your city at www.callzingo.com.

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