The Pine County “SafeCab” program, launched in November 2009, was modeled on the Isanti County program that began operating in 2005. The program provides rides home to patrons of participating bars and restaurants after an evening of drinking. Services are provided by Attaboys’ Taxi Service of Sandstone, and rides up to $15—approximately seven miles—are free. The customer is responsible for any balance over $15. Funding for the SafeCab program is provided in equal one-third portions by the establishment where the patron was drinking, McDonald Distributing of Rush City, and Minnesota Safe Ride.
Attaboys’ owners Randy and Patricia Atterbury estimate that they gave more than 530 rides to approximately 1,500 people in the SafeCab program’s first year of operation. The average number of rides increased to 60 per month in November and December of 2010, they reported. DWI arrests in the county have decreased from 168 in 2008 to about 120 in 2010, according to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
East Central Regional Development Commission