Designated driver bus service announced

A long-standing designated driver bus service will be expanding its reach on New Year’s Eve as it once again shuttles holiday revellers from bars and restaurants free of charge throughout Grand Cayman.

Eight Purple Ribbon Buses, up from five vehicles a year ago, will begin operating at 10pm on Saturday, 31 December, and run continuously until 3am on Sunday, 1 January, on a regular route between West Bay and Bodden Town. The buses will pick up passengers outside all major restaurants, bars, night clubs and also at regular bus stops along the route.

The Purple Ribbon Buses – which are Reid’s Premier Tours vehicles outfitted with purple ribbons and magnets – also will be operating to and from the districts of East End and North Side in Grand Cayman.

For more than 10 years, the National Drug Council of the Cayman Islands has partnered with local businesses and restaurants to coordinate the designated driver bus service during the holidays. This year, Greenlight RE has donated the funding necessary to cover the initiative.

“We continue to be extremely grateful for the private sector donors who support initiatives, such as this one,” said Joan West-Dacres, executive director of the National Drug Council of the Cayman Islands. “We were able to increase the buses from five in 2010 to eight buses in 2011. There is really no excuse for drinking and driving this New Year’s Eve.”

In addition to the bus service, there are 19 participating establishments in Grand Cayman where patrons who identify themselves as designated drivers may receive free non-alcoholic drinks all evening.

“It’s a great programme and we are thankful to the participating establishments for doing their part in cutting down drink driving this holiday season, despite the economic climate,” Ms West-Dacres said.

The 19 participating restaurants, bars and clubs are: Breezes By the Bay; Calypso Grill; Champion House II; Cobalt Coast Restaurant; Cimboco; Decker’s Restaurant; Fidel Murphy’s; Grand Old House; Hard Rock Cafe; Hammerheads; Kaibo Yacht Club Restaurant & Bar; Luca Restaurant; Lighthouse Restaurant; Lobster Pot; Papagallo Restaurant; Ragazzi Ristorante; Reef Grill at the Royal Palms; Wharf Restaurant; and Margaritaville Bar & Restaurant.