SafeRide shuttle proves successful

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- As Friday night rolls around, many are hitting the bars to celebrate the weekend. But a safe ride opportunity in Brown County is proving successful to keep drunk drivers off the road.

“Wisconsin in general, we're big drinkers. And it just seems to be a problem we're having, and I would like to fix that problem,” says Galen Sherbon, Owner of veteran-run company Another Way.

Instead of grabbing your keys this weekend, grab your phone.

“Look at the website under the routes tab, find the closest bar to where you live, and then just walk or get dropped off there,” Sherbon says.

Visit Bus3531.com to access the Another Way SafeRide shuttle, the program that allows you to go from bar-to-bar without drinking and driving.

“If it's helping one person, we think it's worth the time and the effort we're spending on it,” says Jeff Hunter, owner of Rum Runners.

Since the program started about one month ago, nearly 600 people in Brown County have gotten on board.

“That’s almost 600 drunk drivers off the road,” says Don Mjelde, President of the Brown County Tavern League.

To use the shuttle program, you simply need to buy a drink at one of the 51 participating bars in Brown County, or purchase a voucher online.

After that, you can follow the bus route on your cell phone to be ready outside when it arrives. Organizers say it’s important to be prepared, as each stop lasts about 30 seconds. That way, all three routes are kept under one hour of total travel.

The shuttle route runs from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. When the shuttle stops running for the night, you can take a free SafeRide home, from the bar you arrived at.

“SafeRides have increased significantly in the Brown County area, more recently due to increased awareness,” Mjelde tells Action 2 News.

The program is already so popular, organizers are considering expanding to cover Packers games or Sunday Funday opportunities.

But for now – they’re happy with the turnout.

“To get people that are dropped off at your place, that are using the SafeRide bus system is very rewarding, because you know those people are getting around responsibly,” Mjelde says. “Hey, there is a way to get home without drinking and driving. Let us do this for you.”

Organizers say between 50 and 60 people use the shuttle system weekly. They’re expecting that number to go up, as Packers season begins and the weather gets cooler.