CHAMPAIGN — Local bus service won’t be running, but if you find yourself in need of sober ride home on New Year’s Eve, you’ll still be able to find one in a price range from free on up.
Urbana-based Tatman’s Towing will continue its long tradition of offering free New Year’s Eve rides home to help keep would-be drunken drivers off the roads. The service will be offered free this year on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 3 a.m. New Year’s Day to anyone in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy.
Those who need a ride home outside those city limits that night can still catch a ride from Tatman’s, but the charge will be $4.25 a mile, said Tatman’s owner Jim Hampton.
How it works: Tatman’s will send a tow truck to haul your vehicle home and park it in your driveway. You’ll ride home in the cab with the driver.
“What’s a better way to wake up on New Year’s and not have to go look for your car?” Hampton said.
Be aware: Tatman’s won’t haul you from party to party, he said, though, “it does get asked.”
Plus, “the car has to run, and we have to be able to drive it up to the truck,” Hampton said.
The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District will be continuing a long tradition of taking New Year’s Eve night off.
That’s due to the low demand for bus service on a night the MTD would have to pay drivers double, according to Managing Director Karl Gnadt.
Bus service wouldn’t work for many on New Year’s Eve night, anyway, he said.
“Our evening service is a scaled-back service,” Gnadt said. “It’s not going to work for the majority of the community.”
MTD buses will stop running between 6 and 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, depending on the route, and also won’t be running New Year’s Day, Gnadt said.
Options for rides home via taxi, limo, Lyft and Uber services for New Year’s Eve revelers will likely be plentiful.
Both Lyft and Uber are expecting a busy holiday.
“We’re happy that riders are doing the right thing by putting safety first,” Uber spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said.
Pricing for rides through Lyft and Uber can vary, but the charge is made available on an up-front basis, according to both services.
“With Lyft’s up-front pricing, riders are alerted when it’s busy and asked to confirm they accept the price before requesting a ride,” Lyft spokeswoman Kaitlyn Carl said. “We’re excited to be available to those in Champaign-Urbana.”
Cab services may or may not be running on New Year’s Eve.
Among those that will be running locally are Yellow Checker Cab and Hometown Taxi. Rates on New Year’s Eve are the same as on other nights of the year, according to both those businesses.
Among cab services that won’t be operating New Year’s Eve due to low demand will be Arrow Taxicab Service.
“It just doesn’t pay,” said Arrow owner Bill Van Cleave.
Limo service stands to set you back a bit more than a cab ride.
Larry’s Limousine Service has New Year’s Eve availability and limos seating as many as 14-16 and 20-22 passengers, said owner Michael Noe.
There’s a three-hour minimum, but he’s lowering his prices to $125 an hour for the first three hours on New Year’s Eve, he said.
Starr Limousine President H.D. Brown said Monday he still has a couple of vehicles available for New Year’s Eve.
Depending on what you book, the charge is $200 to $1,000, he said.