Ride-sharing service sets Athens County launch for early in June

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May 29, 2017

Conor Morris

A representative for a new ride-sharing service launching in Athens County says the service is expecting to start offering rides in early June.

Liberty Mobility Now is a ride-sharing service, cellphone application and phone line from a small start-up company that’s been billing itself as an alternative to ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft.

Tyler Bassinger, marketing director for Liberty Mobility Now, said in an email Friday that Liberty is recruiting drivers for Athens County currently, and an open interview session will be help at the Work Station in The Plains from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7.

 Liberty also recently hired Ohio University and Ohio State University alumnus Bret Whitaker as its new “Area Mobility Manager” of the southeast Ohio region, according to a press release from Liberty. According to that release, Liberty also has partnered with OU’s Innovation Center and “multiple departments” at the university to further develop “its technology and optimize its business model.”

The company’s CEO previously described Liberty as a “mobility service company” that connects existing transportation options in the community (including public transit and local taxis) and Liberty’s own drivers, with customers, through a cellphone app and phone line. As is the case with Uber and Lyft, neither of which operate in Athens, Liberty drivers will use their own vehicles.

“Transportation underpins every aspect of life – work, relationships with family, groceries, health care, education and more,” Liberty President and CEO Valerie Lefler said in the release. “Liberty connects users in Athens to all available resources, then adds our drivers as independent contractors where no options are available or gaps are identified.”

 Whitaker and Lefler also met with the local Hocking Athens Perry Community Action organization last week, with Whitaker calling it a “very productive meeting” in a provided statement.

“Jessica Stroh and Jessie Schmitzer shared a great deal of information about HAPCAP and the many exciting initiatives that are both currently underway and coming up in the near future,” Whitaker said. “Liberty looks forward to working with HAPCAP and their talented staff to help promote and grow transportation resources for those in the area.”

 Bassinger said that Liberty Mobility Now will be in seven states including Ohio “in some capacity” by the end of the year.