Former Austin bartender petitions city for 'safe rides' - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Former Austin bartender petitions city for 'safe rides'

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Sara Levine used to bar tend in downtown Austin.  She says she's spent many a night helping patrons find a way home.

"I would have to deal with customers that couldn't get home at night.  They would wait for hours for cabs, they couldn't get a bus their direction and ended up, most of them would drive home drunk," Levine said.

So she started a petition on with hopes the city will offer some better options for getting home after a night of drinking.

So far she's gotten more than 2,400 signatures since she started it last Monday.

Garrett Franklin moved to Austin a few months ago.  From what he's seen so far, he agrees.

"Alcohol is destructive!  I mean you have somebody angry and mad down here without a ride home, they don't have money to even get a taxi home and then it's over man," he said.

Levine says many of her customers never felt good about getting a safe ride home and leaving their car in town overnight because of parking citations -- something she feels the city could ease up on.

"It would be great if they did something like a warning.  For the very first offense on that license, just give them a warning ticket and say you can't do this but we're gonna let you get away with it this time," Levine said.

Aside from the parking, the petition points out problems with buses and taxi cabs.

Kristin Altwegg bar tends at Bat Bar and goes to school at UT.  She says she lives in far north Austin, a hard place to get to without her car.
"It is almost impossible to get a cab that will go that far north and when they do it's $60," Altwegg said.

Levine is hoping the city will start allowing "ride share" programs like Sidecar that have previously been un-welcome here.

Once the petition ends, Levine says she'll be presenting the petition to different city organizations.

"Enough people were complaining online, I was like 'this needs to be voiced' and in a manner that the word can get out to people.  So I put that together, I got input from friends as I was working on it and pieced it together and put it up there and it just basically took off like wildfire," she said.

Well you've heard the complaints, here are some of the things that are available.
    Cap-Metro of course has the "Nightowl" service that runs until after 3 am.
     Also there's the E-bus that runs Thursday through Saturday from 8:30 PM to 3:00 am.
You can find the routes on the Cap-Metro website.
As far as cabs go, the City of Austin says the three permitted cab companies in Austin are Austin Cab, Yellow Cab and Lonestar.

Here's something else Cap-Metro does.  They have something called a "Guaranteed Ride Home" program.  For just $5 a year, if you have to make an emergency trip during the day or because you stayed out later than you thought at night and you've missed your bus or train, Cap-Metro will reimburse you for up to 4 emergency taxi rides a year.

If you do want to sign that petition, Levine has extended the signup until the 4th.
If you would like to sign, click here

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