TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Tuesday marks the first day of the new 419Shuttle offering free rides downtown.
The service was started by a man who wants to see Toledo's city center thrive.
"I decided to take it nice and slow, I wanted to make sure when we did launch downtown it was going to be an experience for everyone to remember," owner Jeff Jones said.
Jones works at the Jeep plant full time, but decided he wants to find an easier way to get around downtown and this was the result.
"It's about promoting downtown Toledo, it's about promoting local businesses, it's about getting people downtown and keeping them downtown," Jones said.
Jones says the service will make money with advertising on and in the van.
The service is not going to give you a rate like a cab, but, the drivers do work strictly for tips. There is an option to use a credit card.
"The more they ride, the more our drivers are happy, the more I am happy, the more the van is happy, the more our advertisers are happy, so I want people to use this as much as they possibly can whenever they can," Jones explained.
It'll take riders from Middlegrounds Metropark to Uptown, to the Warehouse and Marina Districts, as well as The Docks and Main Street in east Toledo.
Jones says this changes the ballgame for downtown transportation, and unlike golf cart rides, it's not weather dependent.
"We want people to come down, we want people to enjoy the evening, we want people to stay, experience the nightlife it has to offer and we want them to feel safe doing it," Jones said.
Every ride is video-taped for both passengers and driver's safety.
Jones hopes to add more shuttles as the business grows and that he is also in the process of creating an app to make requesting a ride easier.
It'll operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., except when there is a concert or Toledo Walleye and Mud Hens games.
For a ride, call 419-917-8213.