New Year‘s Eve is going to be a busy night for anyone on the roads, but when it comes to getting home safely, there are options.
Between taxis, transit, volunteer drivers and designated drivers, revellers needing a ride home after the countdown have plenty of options that don‘t involve getting behind the wheel.
In Metro Vancouver, TransLink will offer free transit on New Year‘s Eve, from 5 p.m. through to 5 a.m. the next morning.
Buses will follow their usual Sunday schedules, TransLink says, with some routes running extra trips during the night. NightBuses will be travelling their regular routes, some of which operate through the night.
TransLink says SkyTrain will run more frequently through the night and the SeaBus will run an hour later than usual: the last sailing from Lonsdale Quay is at 2:02 a.m. and the last sailing from Waterfront is at 2:22 a.m.
More information can be found on TransLink‘s website.
Operation Red Nose
Volunteer drivers will be out in force on New Year‘s Eve to drive cars home when their owners feel they aren‘t in a state to drive.
“The service is used by just about every walk of life. We have younger people, older people, anyone who wants to go out and have a good time and not worry about getting their vehicle home,” Operation Red Nose coordinator Chris Wilson told guest host Renee Filippone.
“What we‘ve seen over the last three years is our numbers are actually going down a little bit and we think it‘s a really good news story.”
“What it says is people are making alternate plans. They‘re planning a safe ride home on their own, and not relying on a service like ours.”
Still, Wilson says Dec. 31 will be busy for the group. If you plan to use the service, he advises calling two hours before you need a ride.
He also says the group can‘t operate this year in Vancouver, Surrey or Langley and won‘t be able to provide rides to or from those cities.
Call a taxi
Mohan Kang, president of the B.C. Taxi Association knows people don‘t want to be told to have patience New Year‘s Eve — but if you‘re taking a cab, that might be what you‘ll have to do.
Provincewide, he says it will be an incredibly busy night and companies will bring in extra staff to try to meet the demand, but riders may still have a wait ahead of them.
“It is going to be a super busy night for them,” he said, adding that drivers will be prepared and have likely worked New Year‘s Eve before.
He says while many cities and companies have their own taxi app to make things more convenient, taxi companies are working on a provincewide app — but it won‘t be ready for New Year‘s Eve.
Designate a driver
Of course, a friend or family member — or you — can step up and volunteer to be the designated driver and make sure everyone gets home safe.
ICBC advises designated drivers to drive defensively after the countdown and to pay attention to other vehicles. They say crashes involving drunk or impaired drivers are more likely in the evening and on weekends.
They also advise party hosts to keep plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on hand for designated drivers.
With files from CBC Radio One‘s