Free ways to get home safe on New Year's Eve

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND (WWBT) - Tonight there are several ways for you to get home after the party, without getting behind the wheel after drinking. The best part is, those rides are free.

After a night of partying to ring in 2010, a free cab ride is just a phone call away. It can save your life and the lives of others.

It's a first year idea that hit's close to home for Tom Peyton of Gentleman Taxi's. A family member of his died in an accident involving a drunk driver. That, plus everything else he's seen, drove him to offer the free taxi rides.

"Coming into Cary Street into Shockoe Bottom area, seeing other cars come through the lights as if they were not there," says Tom Peyton.

Scary scenes, that could carry some stiff punishments if you happen to roll up on one of the many DUI checkpoints set up tonight.

So staying safe and not getting behind the wheel after drinking is on the minds of many. "We've had a lot of phone calls," says Tom.

Tom teamed up with Allen and Allen Law Firm to provide the free rides. The law firm will foot the bill for the night.

The taxi's will run from 9 tonight until 5 in the morning New Year's Day. You will only be able to get a ride home and you can not make a reservation before the free rides start.

"We know the phones are going to be chaotic. That's why we're telling people to call ahead, plan your evening out," says Tom. Calling an hour before you want to leave is a safe bet.

If staying near downtown is in your plans, you can always hop on the free, green and black, To the Bottom and Back Bus. It starts at Carytown's Ellwood Thompson, driving through VCU, Shockoe Slip and ending in the bottom. You can even track where the bus is on your cell phone, from their web site.

So whether it's in a cab or on a bus, these are some free ways to celebrate 2010 and even save some money.

"It's a great way to go out. Everyone's had a rough year and they can come out and get their New Year off to a good start," adds Tom.

Also, don't be alarmed if you see the meters on and the money starting to rack up. You won't be charged a thing. A free taxi ride to start the new year in a safe way.

The phone number for the free rides is 839-8400. There is also a toll-free number at (866) 668-8549. You can find more information at

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