Whether out singing carols or karaoke, no one plans to cut his holiday celebration short with a trip to the hospital. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the effects of that extra sip of spiked eggnog — and get behind the wheel of the car.
Several local restaurants offer shuttle services to patrons to guarantee a safe night out. Mahoney’s Irish Pub in Poughkeepsie has provided its Saferide and Walkway Shuttle since this summer. “Currently, we drive about 60 people per night,” says General Manager Armando Valente. “It’s completely free.” Patrons simply hop on the pub’s 15-passenger van, and it delivers them to their doorstep safe and sound. “We cover a 10-mile radius,” Valente says. “We’ve gone as far as Beacon, up to Hyde Park, and out to Pleasant Valley.” (Mahoney’s also offers a 20 percent discount for weekenders who use the shuttle to access the Walkway Over the Hudson).
Valente plans to employ the van for the holiday season. “I don’t want people drinking and driving,” he says. “And if someone shows up intoxicated, we won’t turn them away — we’ll take them home.” Adds Valente, “Patrons love it. It’s an excellent service.”
At American Glory BBQ in Hudson, owner Joe Fierro has a similar outlook. The American Glory Shuttle accommodates up to 32 passengers and makes two stops: one at St. Theresa’s Church in Windham, and one at the New York State Thruway commuter lot in Catskill. “People are definitely into it, and we’re getting a really good response,” Fierro says. To reserve seats, patrons e-mail the restaurant with the date, time, and location they plan to use; there’s an early dinner ride as well as a Night Train late shuttle. Fierro works with local taxi services and police enforcement to ensure that there are safe options for travelers once they disembark from the shuttle. “I definitely don’t want people getting off the bus, and then driving home [after drinking],” he says. “Besides, gas is expensive. Why drive when someone else will do it for you?”