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Free cabs offered during holidays

– The Holiday Cab program is returning for its 26th year of service.

Mayor Tom Henry joined with Holiday Cab officials Wednesday to announce the program, which provides free cab rides home to impaired drivers during the holiday season.

Holiday Cab runs from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Dec. 19 to Jan. 1.

The program provides free rides home to those who live within a 10-mile radius of downtown Fort Wayne. Those who live farther can still use the cab service but will have to pay the difference beyond the 10-mile radius.

Residents must call Holiday Cab at 260-426-1301 to get the free service. Reservations are not accepted, and the cabs will only take people home – not to another bar, restaurant or party.

“The Holiday Cab program provides a great community service,” Henry said. “We commend them for making sure our residents stay safe and that no lives are endangered on our roadways during the holiday season. We applaud and support their mission to reduce impaired driving and get everyone home safely.”

The goal of the program has always been to prevent the tragedies that can and do occur when motorists drive drunk or impaired, said Rita Junk, Holiday Cab administrator.

“We believe we’re making a difference by providing cab rides for people who have gone out to party or attended a holiday event and need a safe ride home,” Junk said. “Law enforcement officers encourage residents to use our ride home, so that you won’t have to use their ride home, after being arrested.”

Holiday Cab has operated since 1987. Last year, the program provided 376 rides, officials said; some years, they have provided as many as 600 rides.

Alcohol-related collisions continue to be public safety concern. There were 344 alcohol-related crashes in 2012 in Allen County, causing nine deaths.

This year’s program is sponsored by AALCO Distributing Co., Anheuser-Busch InBev, UAW CAP Council and the Tavern Owner’s Association. Rides will be provided by Deluxe Taxi Co. The program has received support from local law enforcement agencies.