Ride On 

Even if you don't drive drunk, you probably have, or you at least know somebody who does. Considering the amount of time music fans spend lingering in venues and bars watching bands perform, drunk driving is an unfortunate, yet omnipresent, factor of the music scene.

That being said, I think Joshua Bernard and Scott Conger are saints. They are the founders of RideOn, a local nonprofit company to help eliminate drunk driving here in town. Once up and operational (more details on this below), RideOn will pick up intoxicated patrons of bars and concert venues, transport them home safely in their own vehicle, and then motor off into the night on tiny foldable scooters. You might remember this service under its original name, Meteor, but now Bernard and Conger have reformatted the company and have the city, and music community, on their side.

Rides will cost just $5, an incredible bargain when compared to the physical, and financial, risks of driving under the influence. It's too early to tell, but they are aiming to launch RideOn in the Southeast starting in August, and then roll into new neighborhoods as time progresses. In the meantime, our noble music community is staging a benefit for the company this Saturday at Slabtown. There will be music from the Maybe Happening, the Morals, Sprinkles, Ferocious Eagle, plus DJs and a raffle with prizes provided by local businesses. To give a little more info about RideOn, Joshua Bernard took some time to talk to us.

MERCURY: Will RideOn pick up riders at any concert venue in town?

BERNARD: RideOn, once running, will pick up riders anywhere within our pick-up area. Even though this will be limited to SE at the very beginning, we hope to cover the entire city as quickly as possible (which would obviously include many more venues).

In theory, if an entire band was intoxicated after a show, you could drop them off in their van, correct?

Absolutely. RideOn will even make multiple stops so each bandmate can sleep in his/her own bed!

If people are interested in volunteering to help out, what should they do?

If someone wants to help out, they should contact us by email (info@rideonportland.org) or simply give us a call (238-RIDE). Right now RideOn needs folks to help spread the word and assist with fundraising. After the launch we will need more volunteers to take part in the daily operations of the organization.

The RideOn Benefit show happens at Slab-town on Saturday, June 23.

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