Plan for a Safe Ride Home this Christmas

It’s now the end of November, and you know what that means! With the watering restrictions of summer a distant memory, and the federal election long behind us, and Halloween costumes packed up for another year, it’s finally time to turn our attention to holiday planning, and more important, holiday partying.

For many people, the holidays are a time of great indulgence, more so than Halloween or even birthday parties. For this reason, drinking and driving becomes an even larger concern across the province, so it’s never too early to start planning a safe ride home.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get home safely this holiday season, with or without your car in tow. The best approach is planning ahead for a safe ride home this Christmas. (Feel free to use these tips in the New Year and beyond as well.)

Plan for a Safe Ride Home

Here are some ways a safe ride home after a few party drinks:

Late Night Transportation in Downtown Victoria

Thanks to the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Victoria residents out for a fun night downtown have plenty of options for finding a safe ride home at the end of the night, including late-night buses and taxi stands. With these solutions, you don’t even need a working cell phone to find a ride home from downtown Victoria.

Downtown Buses – Provided you leave the party early enough, there are three public transit options on Friday and Saturday nights that run until 1:30 am. Choose from the 4 Downtown/UVic, the 6 Esquimalt/Royal Oak, or the 14 UVic/Vic General.

In some cases, such as New Year’s Eve, buses have been known to run even later. Find schedules at the Transit BC website. Some bars and establishments will also offer bus tickets to ensure patrons arrive home safely.

Downtown Taxi Stands

When you can’t bring yourself to call a taxi, it’s OK! There are many cabs out and about in downtown Victoria who are actually looking for you! On Fridays and Saturdays between 2 and 4 am, look out for one of three late-night taxi stands in downtown Victoria located on Douglas street between Fort and Broughton (near the Strathcona), between Yates and Johnson (near the 7-11) and at Yates Street (near the Mac’s). These places are monitored by Victoria Police and staff to ensure patrons all have equal access to cabs and a safe ride home.

Additional Taxi Options

If you’re a ways away from downtown Victoria for your holiday staff party, a taxi stand won’t cut it.

There are four main cab companies to call in Victoria:

Most people have their go-to number that they use, but we recommend adding all of the above numbers into your phone. Otherwise, try giving the Taxi Guy a call at 1-888-TAXIGUY, and he’ll hook you up using his nationwide network of 425 taxicab companies. You can even pre-pay for your cab by taking advantage of their Taxi Dollars (gift certificates).

If that’s seeming too difficult, enter #TAXI into your phone to get hooked up with the first available taxi nearest you. Since the app notifies the cab company exactly where you are, this is the perfect solution if you don’t know the address of the party.

Designated Driver

Designated Driver Options

These options are great for getting both you and your car home. They’ve been around for a while now, and each of them have their virtues. Drive Smart Victoria accepts cash or credit card, and even has gift certificates available, while Call My Driver takes reservations and will take you right out to Sooke if required. Finally, Call My Mom Designated Driver Services offers a wide service range as well, along with a plain and simply rate card that shows you exactly how much it will cost to get you home from downtown Victoria.

Roadside Assistance Provider

Here’s a neat one. You might have a free ride already built in to your roadside assistance package. Take BCAA’s Safe-Ride-Home Service for instance. BCAA members are entitled to one Safe-Ride-Home call per year, which counts as one of their annual service calls. This is free provided you are within the maximum towing distance set forth by your membership. Talk about maximizing your membership benefits!

Local Tow Trucks

This is a last resort only, as it is likely to be quite expensive and come with long wait times, but local towing companies will tow your vehicle home for you if you’re desperate, and allow you to ride shotgun in their truck. It’s (sort of) a sweet deal for everyone involved.

Keep in mind, your employer is responsible for making sure you get home safely after a night of celebrating the holidays with them, meaning your ride home is likely covered by him or her. Save your receipts!

From all of us here at Searles, we wish you the happiest of holiday staff parties!

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