Starting this summer, South Bay residents seeking to spend the evening at a night spot in the beach cities may find a sober alternative to driving themselves.
A new company called Bar & Restaurant Shuttle, a subsidiary of Western Stage Lines, a charter bus and tour service based in Redondo Beach, has received Public Utilities Commission approval to begin the novel service, which it expects to start in August.
Since receiving authorization, said Terry Ackley, president of Western Stage Lines, the company has been outfitting a fleet of 12-passenger vans, testing the market and designing a promotional campaign to attract patrons.
The shuttle service will operate within the area between El Segundo Boulevard and Western Avenue in San Pedro, Ackley said. It will offer on-call pickup service to customers within that area for delivery to and from bars and restaurants in its service area. Current plans call for a promotional rate of $3 one way and $5 round trip, increasing later to $4 and $7, he said.
Ackley said he knows of no similar, commercial service. “We are not nonprofit,” he said. “We’d like to provide the public with a viable service--and make a profit, too.”
The goal of the radio-dispatched service, he added, will be to get customers to their destinations within 30 minutes of receiving their call. According to its application to the PUC, the service seeks to provide motorists with “an alternative to the potential danger of driving while under the influence of alcohol.” It will operate from about 5 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., Ackley said.