Council looks at funding a sober-ride bus

Published 4:40 pm Saturday, February 4, 2012

Austin City Council members will discuss Monday night whether to fund a red bus for sober rides from Austin bars.

The red bus, called “The Big Red Ride,” operated in Austin for a short time around the holidays, but police Capt. Dave McKichan said owner Derrick McCormack might ask the city for funding to continue operating the bus.

According to a letter from McKichan to the city council, the police department has concerns about the bus system, which takes riders home from local bars. According to the letter, an assault was reported on one of the buses during its trial period, and McKichan is afraid allowing alcohol on the bus might contribute to further crime.

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The bus currently allows patrons to drink alcohol while riding it.

“From a public safety standpoint, although the thought of removing impaired drivers from the road is a good hting, often people overindulge when they feel they have a safe way home and that can lead to other crimes that may offset the good the bus is doing,” McKichan said in the letter.

Council members will discuss the potential request for funding at a work session Monday