Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't Drink & Drive: Transportation Options

One of the major drinking holidays is on the horizon. While I long ago gave up the tradition of starting the new year with a hangover - enjoy it if you do! And - please don't drink and drive.

There are many transportation options when it comes to party time. And New Year's Eve has some added assistance for those who need it.

One, of course, is the tried and true "designated driver." This is a good option.

But sometimes you may find yourself a little more tipsy than you planned and there's no one to drive you home. Or you feel "a slight buzz" and that you'll "be fine." Please - be safe, not just fine. Even a slight buzz alters your reaction time.

Don't wind up the tragic protagonist in my next novel who dies in a fiery car crash because she was just a little tipsy but wasn't able to maneuver that curb.

Be safe. Okay? I'm not saying to not have a good time -- but plan ahead for getting home safely if you're going out. Or plan a sleepover! That can be fun, too.

One program to get you - and your car - home is from AAA. This service is available in most areas:
AAA Tipsy Tow drivers are ready and waiting to assist drivers who are the worse for wear between 6pm New Year's Eve 2011 and 6am New Year's Day 2012.  If you or someone you know over-indulges this New Year's Eve, don't try to navigate the roads on your own -- here's the info on your free ride home this holiday season.

The AAA Tipsy Tow program is running throughout ... a good chunk of the United States, in an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road and accidents down on New Year's Eve.  The AAA Tipsy Tow number is 1-800-222-4357.

Just call in and tell the operators you need a Tipsy Tow.  AAA will drive you and tow your vehicle up to ten miles for free.  You don't have to be an AA member, and you won't have to show any identification.  The AAA tow truck driver will take you, your car, and up to one additional passenger back home -- but they won't take you bar-hopping, or to any other establishment. 

In the Portland (Oregon) metro area, TriMet has some free ride options:
...all bus and MAX rides will be free beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31.

They'll run on regular Saturday schedules, but MAX service will be extended, TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said.

MAX Blue, Green and Yellow trains will run later into the night, approximately every 35 minutes until about 3 a.m. The last Blue Line trip to Gresham will leave Pioneer Square at 3:06 a.m., and the last trip to Hillsboro will leave Pioneer Square 10 minutes later.

The last Green Line trip to Clackamas will leave the Pioneer Courthouse/Southwest 6th Avenue at 3:10 a.m. The last Yellow Line trip to the Expo Center will leave the same station at 3:02 a.m., and the last trip to downtown will leave the Expo Center station at 2:24 a.m.

A trip to the Rose Quarter Transit Center will leave the Expo Center at 3:42 a.m.

On the Red Line, trains will run on regular Saturday schedules until the end of service and shuttle buses will carry riders between the Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport until about 3 a.m. The last trip of the night to PDX will leave Pioneer Square at 10:43 p.m. The last trip to the Beaverton Transit Center will leave the airport at 11:49 p.m.

For a complete list of TriMet's schedules, visit their website.