Nightclub owner proposes shuttle service for customers

The owner of a Charlottetown nightclub is considering starting a shuttle service to curb drunk driving on P.E.I.

Shuttle would pick up and drop off club-goers from western P.E.I.

The owner of a Charlottetown nightclub is considering starting a shuttle service in an effort to curb drunk driving on P.E.I.

The shuttle would transport customers home to western parts of the province.  

Gordie Cameron said a number of people visit Jack Cameron's Nightclub from as far away as Alberton and Tignish — a two hour drive away.  

"We started noticing more and more customers from the rural areas of Prince Edward Island coming to our nightclub and we were wondering how they were getting back and forth," said Cameron.  

"We wanted to provide an alternative transportation mode. In the Charlottetown area you can take a taxi, but there's no other option if you live in a rural area."  

Cameron began advertising this week for a shuttle service.

It would leave Alberton at 9 p.m. on Friday or Saturday and make stops in Summerside, Kensington, and Hunter River. The shuttle would then head right to the door of Jack Cameron's in Charlottetown.

Later, the shuttle would head back west with passengers at 2:45 a.m.

Cameron said he's not sure how much the service would cost but he already has a 55-passenger bus lined up and he said he is hoping to have enough interest in a couple weeks to begin the shuttle.  

"We just want to break even," Cameron said. "It's definitely not about the money. We just want to provide the customers another option and if we can prevent one person from drinking and driving, this is a success."  

Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesperson Amanda Burke supports the plan. She said rural access to public transit is an issue on the island.

"Certainly we feel initiatives like this will help," said Burke. "The more options people have, the better likelihood they're going to make a good decision and avoid getting behind the wheel."

Tignish MLA Hal Perry served as a volunteer designated driver in his area throughout the holiday season and said some sort of year-round service is needed, no matter the cost.  

Cameron is hoping he'll have enough interest in a couple weeks to give the shuttle service a try. He said if all goes well he may offer a similar service to and from the eastern part of the province.