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Waco Transit not running New Year’s Eve safe ride program

Waco Transit canceled this year's safe transit program because of COVID-19 concerns.
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 9:03 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Waco Police Department said there are always intoxication issues around the holiday, but one safe ride program people have used in the past will not be available this year.

Waco Transit director of operations Charles Parham said this year, the buses will not be running for the Safe Ride Home Service. Parham said it’s really because they want to make sure their drivers stay safe and healthy.

“We only have about 84 drivers,” Parham said. “I need 61 drivers each day to carry out our essential mission. So yes, if I take a couple drivers out and 10 of them go down this week by the 11th of January, we’ll be in a very bad place.”

Parham said the buses are providing an essential service for people every day, and he wants to be able to continue that work on Jan. 2.

“The service that we provide is essential service, people that need our transportation to get to medical appointments or to jobs,” Parham said.

The Waco PD and Texas DPS say if you plan to drink on New Year’s Eve, it’s important to have a plan in place so you’re not drinking and driving.

Waco PD Officer Garen Bynum said the traffic unit will be out patrolling. Bynum said despite the pandemic, police are dealing with drunk drivers.

“Even though we have COVID going on, we’ve still noticed that some of the heavier drinking holidays, we still have peple going out and we still have parties that are happening,” Bynum said.

State troopers will also be out looking for drunk drivers. Texas DPS Sgt. Ryan Howard said troopers will be working with local law enforcement officers.

“That way we can ensure that we’re working together around the clock to ensure we reduce the alcohol related offenses within McLennan County,” Howard said.

State troopers will be participating in the nationwide Operation C.A.R.E. initiative Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

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