The men behind the popular designated driving service Late Night Chauffeurs have just launched a free transportation company for Patchogue Village revelers.
They’ll be driving people around Patchogue in what can best be described as suped-up golf carts.
Owners Dan Cantelmo and John Yancigay and their crews hit the roads for their new Qwik Ride service Saturday, May 5.
Qwik Ride works similarly to ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, in the sense you can download the app and order and track your ride. But there are some big differences.
The first, and the most obvious, is that it’s free to use Qwik Ride (tip your drivers), as opposed to a ride-sharing app. But also, you’ll be picked up in a limousine of a golf kart — emblazoned with the logos of local businesses like The Tap Room and Village Idiot Pub — designed for year-round travel.
Qwik Ride is launching its fleet with five street legal Polaris Gem E6s — the six passenger model. Each vehicle is equipped with heat, as well as TVs, sound systems and lighting.
“Who is going to turn down a free ride?” asked Qwik Ride co-founder Dan Cantelmo, who lives in Patchogue.
The carts, which can also be hailed down, will be operating in Patchogue from Route 112 to River Avenue, and will go as south as Shorefront Park and as north as St. Joseph’s College.
The service will be available from noon to 3 a.m., seven days a week, starting Saturday, May 5, a day many of the restaurants have Cinco de Mayo party plans.
The vehicles will be on hand starting at 10:30 a.m. at Dublin Deck on River Avenue.
The idea for carts in Patchogue started where most good ideas do: a bachelor party in Nashville, Tenn., its founders said.
“We saw this zipping around town and we thought it was a no-brainer,” said Yancigay.
By creating Qwik Ride, the 30 year olds are hoping to provide an affordable solution to one blaring problem in Patchogue Village: the parking.
“My sister-in-law was supposed to meet us out for dinner, couldn’t find parking, and went home,” recalled Yancigay.
The hope is to get visitors and Main Street employees alike to move their cars to the outskirts of town to free up spaces by businesses. From there, they could just hop on a cart.
“Everyone wants that prime spot, but we can make that shift where people can park far away knowing that they’ll be comfortable,” said Yancigay.
Qwik Ride’s “micro-transporation” model has quickly gained traction with local leaders.
“Anything that enhances the visit to the person coming to the village we support,” said Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri. “Whether it’s being able to easily get to one end of the town or to the river, I think is an asset.”
Connecting the Main Street business with those on Patchogue River is also high on the radar for the Qwik Ride founders. They will have a dedicated cart behind Toast Coffeehouse that will make regular runs between both locations. The other carts will also make regular stops near places like the Village Idiot, BrickHouse Brewery and Public House 49, among others.
“I am very excited about it,” said the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, David Kennedy. “We are thankful they have chosen Patchogue to launch this concept.”
Top: Qwik Ride co-founder Dan Cantelmo with his new golf kart. (Photo courtesy of Benny Migliorino/ Benny Migs Photo)