Your guide to getting home safely on New Year's Eve 2016

From extended transit hours to volunteer-run ridesharing, there are a myriad of ways to get a safe start to 2017.

Get a safe start to 2017 by planning your trip home in advance

New Years Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year for cab companies, but there are alternative ways to get home. (Getty Images/Hero Images)

Getting around town on New Year's Eve can be a challenge. Many revellers plan on ringing in 2017 with some celebratory drinks — which means driving home won't be an option.

But between free transit, ride-sharing and a volunteer-run service raising money for charity — there are several options to start your new year on the right foot.

1. Operation Red Nose

How it works: Operation Red Nose is a volunteer-run ride-sharing service that operates across Canada during the month of December. Call 1-877-604-NOSE and a team of three people will show up to escort you home. Two of them will drive your car home while the other follows to make sure they have a ride to their next call. Payments are made by donation and all proceeds go to local charities. 

Pros: It's for a good cause and drops you off right at your door. No New Year's Eve Plans yet? Operation Red Nose is still looking for volunteers.

Cons: The service runs in 12 communities across the lower mainland, but isn't yet available within the City of Vancouver. It's also not recommended for long-haul trips.

Pro-tip: Regional manager Chris Wilson recommends calling two hours in advance to get your name in the queue.

2. Public transit (it's free!)

Pros: All TransLink services are free between 5 p.m. on December 31 and 5 a.m. on January 1. Buses, the SeaBus and the SkyTrain will have extended hours, and certain bus routes will add extra trips. Consult the TripPlanner for the full list of changes.

Con: New Year's Eve is a busy time for transit and certain routes are likely to be packed with riders.

Pro-tip: Download the transit app and plan your trip in advance to avoid long waits at the bus stop.

3. Flok

How it works: Flok is Vancouver-based ride-sharing app that has teamed up with the organizers of Concord's New Years Eve celebration. Drivers attending the event who have extra seats in their car can post their ride on the Flok app, including their departure, destination locations and time of departure.

Pros: The app makes transport more efficient and reduces the demand for parking spots and cabs by connecting party-goers with drivers who have extra space in their car.

Con: Flok only applies to Vancouverites in the area of the Concord New Year's Eve celebration around Canada Place. 

4. Taxi

Pros: It's the easiest and fastest way to get home — assuming you can get one. 

Cons: New Year's Eve is the busiest night of the year for taxis, and many feel there's already a shortage of them on Vancouver streets. Because Vancouver City Council voted in favour of extending a moratorium on issuing new taxi licenses for another year, taxi service providers are unable to put extra cars on the road to accommodate the high demand.

Pro-tip: Book your cab as early in advance as you can. Download the eCab app or request a cab via text to avoid listening to background music while on hold.