Safe Ride Program back in service this weekend

By Gary Scott on March 30, 2017 at 11:06am

One of city’s most utilized forms of transportation is making its way back to streets thanks to the first ever Jacksonville Spring Wing Ding.

West Central Mass Transit’s Safe Ride program, which provides safe and sober transportation during late night, weekend hours, has been out of service for the past several months with the exception of a few special occasions.

With the Wing Ding, Chili Cook-off, and the grant from the City of Jacksonville, Executive Director Jean Jumper is happy to announce that Safe Rides is up and running again.

“The Safe Ride program will start this week and will run throughout the rest of the year with the contributions from the city and the two fundraisers. We will start this Friday, and Safe Ride will be available 8 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. Friday and Saturdays. There will be a charge for Safe Ride and there always has been, and it’s two dollars per person for the trip,” says Jumper.

Jumper feels that, for it being the event’s first year, the Wing Ding went very well.

“We were very pleased with the turnout of folks that came out to support the Safe Ride program. Without the final figures in front of us, the fundraiser made between $6,000 and $7,000, and for a first-year event, that’s pretty significant,” says Jumper.

Though the event went well, the Safe Ride program always welcomes donations, as they are trying to extend their hours for some holidays:

“There are some additional times that we would like to be able to run. For instance, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving would be an evening that we would really like to be on the road, people tend to go out on that evening and we’d like to be able to make sure that there’s transportation available for folks that have a good time downtown and don’t want to take the chance on driving home too late. Over the holidays we like to put on some extra hours because most people tend to go out a little more often and we’d like to get some more hours there,” says Jumper.

As many as twenty local bars participated in the event, where patrons went from bar to bar eating three wings at each stop.