Chief of Police Garry Hamilton joins with Holiday Cab to announce the return of the program that provides free cab rides home to impaired drivers during the holiday season. In its 28th year of service, the Holiday Cab program runs from Thursday, Dec. 17 to Friday, Jan. 1 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“The Holiday Cab program provides a great community service,” Chief Hamilton said. “We applaud and support their mission to reduce impaired driving and get everyone home safely.”
“The goal of the program has always been to prevent the tragedies that can and do occur when motorists drive drunk or impaired”, said Rita Junk, Holiday Cab administrator.
“We believe we’re making a difference by providing cab rides for people who have gone out to party or attended a holiday event and need a safe ride home,” Junk said. “Law enforcement officers encourage residents to use our ride home, so that you won’t have to use their (law enforcement’s) ride home, after being arrested.”
Since 1987, Holiday Cab has provided an alternative for residents looking for a safe ride home. Last year, the program provided 294 rides. The very first year of the program, they gave less than 75 rides home.
Alcohol-related collisions continue to be a public safety concern, nationwide. In Allen County, in 2014, there were a total of 12,184 collisions. Of those 375 were alcohol-related collisions, resulting in 181-injuries and 4-deaths.
The Holiday Cab program will provide free rides home to those who live within a 10-mile radius of downtown Fort Wayne. Those who live farther can still use the cab service, but will have to pay the difference, beyond the 10-mile radius.
Residents must call Holiday Cab at (260) 426-1301, in order to get the free service. Reservations are not accepted, and the cabs will only take people home, not to another bar, restaurant or party.
This year’s Holiday Cab program is sponsored by AALCO Distributing Company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, UAW CAP Council and the Tavern Owner’s Association. Rides will be provided by Deluxe Taxi Company. The program has received support from local law enforcement agencies.