Long before American based alternative rideshare companies made their way to Calgary, there was The Driving Alternative Inc., known as Keys Please® today. On August 20, 1997 Keys Please® opened for business in Calgary. Dave Dick, President of The Driving Alternative Inc., started the company after having run a large local courier trucking company. Already familiar with how dispatching worked, Dick thought the idea of driving people and their vehicles home after a night of drinking was a great idea. In the beginning Dick and his small crew of people worked tirelessly to get this venture up and running. Today they have an extremely large fleet of vehicles, full operations department, marketing personnel and administration staff to run the day to day business.
After The Driving Alternative Inc. researched the Calgary market, results indicated that the main reason people drink and drive was because they wanted their vehicle with them (so they could carry on the next day). Ginger Greenwood, General Manager says, “People want their independence. They don’t want to rely on other people. They need to take their kids to school, their spouse to work or they have to get to work themselves.”
Both Dick and Greenwood have a passion for this business. Greenwood says, “When people use Keys Please® the quality of life increases and lives lost due to impaired driving is reduced.” In 2014, The Driving Alternative Inc. re-branded Keys Please®. This was an opportunity for customers to book from the Keys Please® (Free) App for not only designated driving, but the option where they would drive people in their vehicle after having day surgery, eye surgery or dental procedure.
After the launch of daytime designated driving, Keys Please® started receiving calls requesting they take customers to and from locations assisting them when they did not have a vehicle. Keys Please® approached the City of Calgary Livery to find out what they would have to do to enable them to perform this function. Keys Please® received an exemption from the City of Calgary Livery in July, 2015 allowing them to transport customers for personal assistance services.
Keys Please® is thrilled to welcome the new bylaw that makes rideshare a legal option for the public. Keys Please® has attempted to do this on a number of occasions throughout the years. Through this time, thousands of Keys Please® clients have asked them to perform this exact service to which they have always had to respond, “Unfortunately we cannot do that as the Taxi Commission would shut us down,” says Greenwood.
The new bylaw for (PFHV) Private for Hire Vehicle only benefits Calgarians. Keys Please® will build their PFHV fleet in accordance to the vehicles required to service the demand. Keys Please® will have the same high standards for their PFHV drivers as they have in place for their designated driving teams. Public safety is one of the core values Keys Please® has held for 19 years.
For media inquiries, please contact Ginger Greenwood, General Manager, the Driving Alternative Inc.
General Manager, The Driving Alternative Inc.,
About Keys Please®
In 2015 Keys Please® supplied service to approximately 90,000 people in Calgary. Now with a large number of customer requests to extend services into Airdrie, Okotoks and Chestermere, Keys Please® is excited to announce that effective February 19, 2016 Keys Please® provides designated driving services for those cities.
The Keys Please® new App will allow the customer to pay by an in-app payment, provide a trip cost estimate prior to customer accepting trip, the driver’s photo, driver rating, the Alberta license plate number of PFHV, make, model and colour of vehicle. The Keys Please® App will produce an electronic receipt which is immediately provided to the customer at the conclusion of the trip which includes customer’s name, time and date when the service was arranged, location where passenger was picked up, destination at which passenger was discharged and the fare charge. Real time GPS tracking will be available to the rider, showing vehicle on route to pick up location and vehicle on route to drop off location. There will be CCTV cameras in all PFHV (for the protection of drivers and customers).
For more information visit www.keysplease.net.