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Holiday Cab in 25th year of safe rides

Holiday Cab is celebrating its 25th year of giving free cab rides to impaired drivers during the holiday season.

Mayor Tom Henry praised the annual program, which runs from Dec. 20 to Jan 1.

“Almost all of us during the holiday season like to celebrate with family and friends,” Henry said. “But not having a designated driver can lead to tragedy.”

That’s where Holiday Cab comes in, officials said. By calling 426-1301 between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., those who need a safe ride home can get one – for free.

“I have no doubt that Holiday Cab has played a role in reducing the number of alcohol-related crashes in our community,” Henry said.

Last year, the program provided nearly 400 rides.

Holiday Cab administrator Rita Junk said rides are free within a 10-mile radius of downtown; rides beyond that are only charged the difference.

And the service is only for rides home, she stressed.

“We do not pick you up from a party and then take you to another party,” Junk said. “We’re not a party-hopping service.”

Only calling the Holiday Cab phone number will get you a free ride; calling the cab company directly will result in normal fares.

This year, the rides are provided by Deluxe Taxi Co., and the major sponsors are AALCO Distributing Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev, UAW CAP Council and the Tavern Owners Association, Junk said.

“I know firsthand that it works,” Henry said. “Not that I’ve ever used it.”