Hope for Saint John's Operation Red Nose
The people behind Operation Red Nose in Saint are looking for community sponsors to help resurrect the free holiday taxi service next year.
The popular program was launched in 2008 to ensure partygoers don’t drink and drive during the holiday season. It offered 140 rides in Saint John in 2011.
This year, however, a national sponsor pulled its funding. FUSION Saint John couldn’t get insurance for clients and volunteer drivers, so it was forced to cancel the program.
Since then, FUSION has heard from some insurance companies offering help for next year, said Jane MacEachern, chair of the group.
It means MacEachern and her group will look for sponsors to cover the insurance costs.
"We're really hopeful that next year we can pull together our great group of volunteers and get the program off the ground and get it back to Saint John," she said.
That is welcome news to Saint John police, who say the program means safer roads.
"Operation Red Nose gave them an option to say, ‘Well, I'm not going to risk thinking I'm not over,’ or ‘I'm not going to risk driving my car home and maybe go through that red light,’" said Sgt. Jeff LaFrance.
Oromocto pays $1,500 to cover its Operation Red Nose program.
MacEachern said the cost of Saint John’s program would be higher.