By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
While celebrating New Year’s Eve, people can let the Clinton Municipal Transit Administration give them a ride.
“Give us a call on New Year's Eve, we'll gladly take you were you’re going,” Transit Operations Coordinator John Griffin said.
For the 25th year, the Clinton MTA and area businesses are continuing the “Stay Alive, Let Us Drive” program. Griffin has been involved with the program for four years. He feels that it is a fun night, adding that both the passengers and the bus driver have a great time.
“It gives us a chance to get everyone home safe and maybe take a few cars off the road,” Griffin said.
The bus will run from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday. People can call 242-3721 all evening for rides to any location in the city of Clinton. There is no limit on the number of rides a person can have.
Clinton Police Capt. James Klaes said the bus service has had a positive effect on safety on New Year’s Eve. He said police do not see a spike in incidents related to alcohol, such as driving while intoxicated and public intoxication that night; Klaes attributed this success, in part, to the bus service.
“Ever since they started running that bus, things have been easy,” Klaes said.
Griffin said more people ride the bus than when it was first started. That first year, 87 people rode the bus. Last year, the bus saw 652 people. Griffin said it seems that when the weather is worse, more people ride the bus.
“I just feel that it’s a worthy cause,” Mike Kroemer, of Kroemer’s Insurance, said. Kroemer’s Insurance is one of the bus sponsors. He agreed that the bus is a way to keep people safe.
Almost three dozen area businesses and organizations support the New Year’s Eve bus. Griffin said they try to raise approximately $3,000 to cover all expenses so the bus does not cost the city anything to run. He added that this year’s sponsors and donations have once again covered that amount. He thanks the sponsors for promoting community safety.
“We just want to do our part to provide safe rides for the Clinton community,” Peggi Johnson, Marketing Manager for sponsor Wild Rose Casino & Resort, said.