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Free bus rides to Ding in the New Year

Ding in the New Year to provide rides in four Sask. cities
Reported by Karin Yeske
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The 24th annual Ding in the New Year will have an added feature this New Year’s Eve.

Commuters in Regina wanting a free ride home can track their bus online.

Mayor Pat Fiacco says making the decision to have a safe ride home is even easier.

“TransitLive is a web-based program that provides real-time scheduled information by tracking buses through GPS as they travel their routes throughout our city,” Fiacco said on Dec. 13, speaking from McNally's Tavern on Dewdney Avenue.

SGI President and CEO Andrew Cartmell says the $60,000 program is worth it.

“We know on New Year’s Eve people want to get out and celebrate and this is one way we can help people get home safe,” said Cartmell.

Commuters in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert can use free bus and paratransit services from 7 p.m. until 2:15 a.m.

Fiacco says normal routes will be in use, as well as added routes to the Warehouse District.

Regina Police Service Chief Troy Hagen says it’s important that partygoers can choose to have a safe ride home.

Hagen says through the RID program, they’ve received over 1,400 calls this year. There have been 547 drivers who have exceeded the legal limit, 13 of which were involved in accidents causing bodily harm.

He says there have not been any fatalities in Regina involving impaired driving.

“It’s up to each one of us to ensure that remains at zero,” said Hagen.

According to SGI, in 2010 there were 113 impaired driving collisions in the month of December in the province. Of the 113 collisions, there were 58 injuries and four deaths.

In December 2009, SGI says there were 135 collisions causing 54 injuries and four deaths.