The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 30, 2013

EPTA will offer free rides home tonight

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — New Year’s Eve often is a time of revelry fueled by free-flowing alcohol, but there is no reason to get behind the wheel in Enid and drive drunk.

From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Enid Public Transportation Authority will provide free rides home.

Mark Anzalone, marketing coordinator for EPTA, said getting a ride home tonight would be as simple as making a phone call.

“Rides can be reserved in advance or called in when needed,” Anzalone said. “Callers should leave their name and phone number, and we will call right back to confirm the ride.”

Dispatch can be reached at (580) 233-7433.

“It is a one-way-only ride going to the person’s place of residence,” Anzalone said.

James Neal, EPTA general manager, said the transit would take patrons from any point in Enid to the rider’s home in Enid city limits.

“We’re not providing transportation from home to the bar, or bar-to-bar; it’s just one-way home,” Neal said.

Advance reservations are preferred if riders know where they’ll be ending their night on New Year’s Eve, or they can call and leave a message with the driver to request a ride.

“Our intent is to give safe rides home and to prevent anyone who’s had too much to drink from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle,” Neal said. “These rides are sponsored by Jerry and Flora Boland, who lost their daughter, Lori, to an alcohol-related accident in December 1996.”

In addition, AAA Oklahoma offers free Tipsy Tow service until 4 a.m. to drivers in Enid who do not feel driving is safe because they have been drinking.

AAA will send a tow truck for the driver and one additional person, regardless of whether the driver is a AAA member, and take them one-way up to 15 miles from where they are picked up. All they have to tell the AAA operator is, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on the way.

Like EPTA, AAA will take those who use the service only one place — home.

AAA’s number is (800) 222-4357.