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New Shuttle Service Will 'Ziip' Around Manhattan Beach

Dec 16, 2017 09:56PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A new shuttle service designed to help transport high school and middle school students is making its way around Manhattan Beach. It'll be offering special custom routes for all ages as well.

The Ziip shuttle service, created to alleviate some of the carpooling crush for students at Mira Costa High School and Manhattan Beach MIddle School, has begun transporting students to Mira Costa and is about to start an initial round of test runs to MBMS, with full service starting January 8.

For the holiday season, the shuttle service is also offering free rides from Manhattan Beach to El Segundo's Candy Cane Lane departing at 6:30 p.m. on December 21, 22, and 23.

Additionally, custom or charter routes will be available through the website. What kinds of rides can you set up with Ziip? Just ask, they're flexible.

The Ziip shuttle is designed to work like an Uber, with an app and a website. The vans are driven by experienced, certified and insured school bus drivers and can seat 10 to 14 people. Parents or riders can go on the app or website to reserve or modify reservations, see their children's route and pickup/arrival, and make payments.

Prospective riders can check out the service by going to www.goZiiP.com or downloading the app (AndroidApple) and clicking on ‘REGISTER’ to create an account. The Request-a-Route service is currently seeking feedback from parents about where to create routes and stops.

School rides will cost about $5, and when testing out the service, the first ten rides are free. Parents will be able to make reservations up to 10 minutes beforehand and cancel or change them (free of charge) up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the ride. Around-town rides will cost about $3.

The Ziip shuttle is the brainchild of the Pepemehmetoglu family, who have children at three different Manhattan Beach schools.

The service will have some similarities to the soon-to-depart Downtowner service, said Geraldine Pepemehmetoglu, but there are key differences.

"We’ll serve different areas - such as schools, East Manhattan Beach, and the mall - that the Downtowner did not," she said. "And whereas the Downtowner went from door to door, we will go from one to two stops to a 'destination' like Mira Costa, MBMS, the mall, the beach, or downtown. In that way, the Downtowner [was] like a taxi service with a limited area and we are a shuttle service with regular stops."

Pepemehmetoglu added, "We will listen to what the people want or need and we will respond quickly through the 'Request A Route' service. People will also be able to charter vans to go to a basketball game or the Hollywood Bowl."

Pepemehmetoglu said that the idea for the Ziip shuttle came about as she and a group of friends were talking after the 2016 TedX Manhattan Beach event. Fittingly, the Ziip shuttle made its initial debut in November, taking attendees to and from the 2017 TedX Manhattan Beach event.

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