New York has its trademark yellow and black cabs. And with everything in New York fairly close in proximity, the cabs are a viable alternative for bar-hopping. But here in California, in most cities, the distance between bars can be rather far, making a taxi ride expensive. How does a bar-hopping ride for only $10 sound? Bar-hoppers living near California State University, Sacramento would tell you that it sounds pretty good.
It’s called the SacTown Hopper and its main purpose is to prevent DUIs and DUI related accidents in Sacramento. Started by sisters, Lisa and Laura Allen, the bus service provides Friday and Saturday night rides to Sacramento nightclub hotspots from apartments near the college. At $10 a ride, the inexpensive fee has 20-somethings, many of whom are college students, lining up for the ride.
“Taxis can be expensive, and designated drivers don’t always make good on their promise not to drink,” said Lisa Allen, whose father owned a bus company and helped start up the venture. Frequent rider, Kelli Nolan said of the Hopper, “Downtown there are cops swarming all over. Paying $10 is a lot safer than getting a DUI and paying thousands of dollars. Plus, I like the energy on the bus. You meet people. It’s fun.”
Local establishments have supported the idea by allowing Hopper riders, who have special Hopper wristbands, to skip the lines it often takes to get into popular bars and nightclubs.
Bill Allen, father of founders Lisa and Laura Allen, said, “You can do this in any college town.”
I think he’s absolutely right. There are plenty of college towns in California, who have bars beyond walking distance, expensive taxis too few and far between, with cops looking to bust DUIs at every opportunity. I should know. I graduated from one of those colleges. And with the new business booming as it has been, I think Lisa and Lauren Allen would tell you that it was a good investment.