New Year’s Eve Transportation: How to get from here to there free, cheap and safe

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dont-drink-driveLong Beach’s many New Year’s Eve parties begin tonight and while the mood may be celebratory it’s a dangerous night to be out on the road.  Americans who drink and drive after holiday parties and festivities make the period between and New Year’s one of the most deadly due to alcohol-related crashes.

However, by planning ahead it’s easy to take the hassle out of holiday driving. City officials, public and private transportation companies have all provided options to make sure that residents can get where they need to go safely on New Year’s Eve.

Tonight as you dance, drink and be merry, don’t underestimate the effects of alcohol. Be aware of how much you’ve consumed, and be prepared to make alternative plans to get home if necessary. Just in case, we’ve rounded up this list of ways to get home after the party.

Ride for Free on New Year’s Eve

Free system-wide bus service will be available on Long Beach Transit on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. when the last bus leaves the Mall, located on Ocean Blvd between and Long Beach Blvd in downtown. Plan your trip in advance with the trip planner online at www.lbtransit.com. Transit assistance from a live person will be available in downtown Long Beach during the New Year’s Eve festivities and information is available 24/7 from a touch screen kiosk located at the Transit & Visitor Information Center. The free fares are sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Associates.

Metro Blue Line will be free to ride on New Year’s Eve. In addition, Metro will offer extended hours, running throughout the night with uninterrupted service to many destinations in Los Angeles County.

The Auto Club will provide its free Tipsy Tow service on New Year’s Eve to drivers who’ve consumed too much alcohol to drive safely. Call (800) 400-4AAA [4222] for a free tow of up to seven miles. The service, which is available from 6 p.m. on December 31 through 6 a.m. on January 1, excludes rides for passengers and is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride and tow for the driver and his or her vehicle. The destination for this service is limited to the driver’s residence. Drivers do not need to be a AAA member, just say, “I need a Tipsy Tow.”

Designate A Driver

A designated driver is not the person who had the least amount of alcohol to drink! Only use a designated driver that has been drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Don’t want to designate a sober member of your party? Then, let someone else do the driving.

Grab a Cab on New Year’s Eve

Designate Long Beach Yellow Cab to be your driver by calling (562) 435-6111.

Long Beach Yellow Cab will have three pick-up and drop-off at locations in Downtown: the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Hotel (200 South Pine Avenue), the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel (111 East Ocean Boulevard) and the Westin Long Beach (333 West Ocean Boulevard).

Slurring your words too much for a phone call? Text message for a ride using GoFastCab. Text your complete pick-up address to 777222 (777CAB) and GoFastCab will dispatch the closest cab company to your address. You will receive a confirmation text message and can even get update the order by texting “status” or “cancel”.

Parking for New Year’s Eve Downtown

More than 20 surface parking lots and structures in the Downtown area will host event parking, with most offering a pre-paid flat-rate fee ranging from $8-$25 per vehicle.  VIP parking can be purchased in advance online where drivers can also download a parking and transportation map for free at www.downtownlongbeach.org.

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