DALLAS -- A new company in Dallas is putting retired and off-duty police officers behind the wheel of rides for hire.
After nearly 30 years with the Texas Department of Safety, retirement looks pretty good on John Pellizzari.
"If somebody told me this - that I would be doing this I would have said 'nah'!" he said.
He was looking for a way to still protect and serve, and found it behind the wheel.
Bubbl is the company founded by Retired DPD Deputy Chief Craig Miller who envisioned rides for hire 'driven by Blue,' it's slogan and a nod to its drivers.
"I love it when people say that's genius, because I don't necessarily consider myself a genius," said Miller.
Bubbl's website allows you to schedule a ride in this bubble, centered on Dallas' Park Cities, where you'll be picked up in a car that belongs to the company, driven by one of 65 off-duty or retired police officers. That means if kids need rides to games, or Grandma must go to the store, they can do it with a police escort.
"You can follow your child or you can follow your parent to their location. You'll get a prompt when they get there and a prompt when they get back," Miller said.
That's comforting to those rattled by ride sharing gone bad. In July of last year, Talal Chammout was arrested after posing as a fake Uber driver and assaulting a Dallas woman he'd just dropped off.
With less than 30 days in business, Bubble has 251 subscribers. All backed by drivers like Pellizzari, taking on a new kind of neighborhood patrol.
"Once you've worn that badge, you don't ever put it up," he said. "It's like an extension. You know, make sure son, daughter, mother, father - whoever - gets where they want to go in a safe manner."
A ride with Bubbl is a flat fee of $15 for adults, $17 for kids and $5 per additional passenger. For now, Bubbl is exclusively on the web, but next month its app will debut. The company hopes that will increase their evening traffic within SMU and Dallas' bar scene.
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