Purple Ribbon Bus free on New Year's Eve

For those planning to see in the New Year with plenty of partying, the free Purple Ribbon Bus is back in action on New Year’s Eve. 

The bus service, organized by the National Drug Council, offers free islandwide shuttles. The drug council started the initiative 15 years ago in a bid to reduce drunk-driving-related incidents. 

Since the service began, thousands of partygoers have used the free shuttle program and avoided driving under the influence of alcohol, thus reducing driving-related injuries or deaths during the festive holiday, the council said in a press release. 

In addition to highly visible, reflective, magnetic signs on the bus, this year purple lights have been sanctioned by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service so that the buses will be more easily recognizable. The drug council’s program manager, Brenda Watson, said, “Our buses already make continued stops at all bus stops, all major bars and restaurants, and we are encouraging residents and visitors alike to use this free and safe service.” 

National Drug Council Director Joan West-Dacres said, “Every family looks forward to celebrating the holidays with our family and friends, but our celebrations shouldn’t include drinking and driving. Plan ahead and ensure you have a safe ride home. Remember that preventing drinking and driving is everyone’s business, and we all need to play our role. Don’t drink and drive.” 

Free shuttles are offered from 9 p.m. Dec. 31 to 4 a.m. Jan. 1. 

How it works 

The Purple Ribbon Buses will be stopping outside bars and restaurants and at bus stops throughout the night and early mornings. Patrons can wait outside for the buses and check with the driver which destination each bus is bound for.  

Designated driver program 

Numerous restaurants, bars and clubs in Cayman are also participating in a designated driver program.  

If designated drivers identify themselves to their server at participating bars and restaurants, they will receive free non-alcoholic beverages all evening and be given a purple wristband bracelet that identifies them as the designated driver.