I was delighted to find out that Regina Transit System runs a completely free bus service all night New Year's Eve! This was news to me a few days ago when I discovered their online advertisement. I wondered if it would be worth the drivers' and system's time and energy to invest in an all night free service. How many partiers would actually take advantage of this great freebie?
Well, I had that concern answered between 2am and 5am this morning. There is a bus stop right outside our front door. Just before 2am I heard yelling and singing outside my bedroom window. I looked out and there at the stop were 5 folk, incredibly inebriated, still swigging what looked like vodka from a large bottle and they were waiting for the transit bus to come through our loop. They were a happy bunch, flashing the passing cars, waving at the trees, snapping selfies on their phones and dancing around the bus bench. About 10 minutes after they showed up, so did the bus. As soon as they saw it coming, away went the bottle into a coat pocket, the hollering ceased and they meekly entered the bus when it arrived. Over the next 3 hours there were several parties of equally drunken souls climbing onto the bus as it arrived at our stop, all getting rides without having to get behind the wheel themselves or to pay for expensive cab service. I counted a total of 23 people over that 3 hours getting on the free bus just at our one stop. That is 23 people not endangering themselves or others by either driving drunk or staggering into the street in an attempt to walk home and causing accidents. I don't know how many others may have boarded at our stop before I woke up and noticed that first group, or if there were others after 5pm that I didn't notice because I went back to sleep during a lull in the noise.
If I counted 23 people at our stop, how many others were able to be driven around the city safely after partying a mite too hard last night?
Bless you Regina transit and all the other transit companies in this country who offered free service for New Years Eve. A HUGE thank you in particular to the drivers who volunteered their time to provide this service and put themselves in danger of any number of problems at the hands of their passengers. You are a marvellous bunch of people!!