As a nation, we are great at organising Christmas and New Year celebrations. We think about the venue, the food, the drink, and maybe some decorations. If it’s a ‘work do’, some thought is put into how office politics might play out.
Too often, the planning ends at dessert and fails to take into account how people are going to get home.
As a Shire, we are perhaps worse than other regions at planning how we’ll get home. ‘There’s no public transport,’ some say. ‘We didn’t think we’d drink so much,’ naively say others. ‘We’ll be right,’ say others, hopping into their cars despite the clear evidence behind blood-alcohol limits for drivers.
For those who like a drink or several with their celebration, options to consider at planning time include designated drivers, club courtesy buses and kind parents. The other option is Go Byron.
Go Byron is the region’s taxi service – and by ‘Byron’ it definitely means Byron Shire, not just Byron town. The name ‘Go Byron’ was coined earlier this year, describing the union of Byron Bay Taxis and Xcede, and since then the team have put technology front and centre of their operation.
An app – easily downloadable and free – allows you to make bookings and then see the progress of your ride. The benefits of the app are multiple. You no longer have to leave a noisy celebration in order to be on hold when ringing for a taxi. You get notifications that your booking has been successful and that a vehicle has accepted the job. You can then track your driver in real time, so you know when to start saying your goodbyes.
The app is so successful that there are moments of comedy. ‘I’ve turned up to find people looking intently at their phones who then get a surprise to see me there in person!’ says Go Byron director and driver Terry Pitt.
The app even allows you to pre-register a credit card, allowing you to ride without having any form of payment on you. Great for nights when possessions have become unimportant, or for when an employer or parent undertakes to pay for a ride that they won’t be present for.
For a fancier celebration, luxury vehicles can be booked. Larger groups can prebook a range of larger sized vehicles. Those travelling with a wheelchair or young children will appreciate that more than 60 per cent of the fleet is wheelchair accessible and carries infant/child seats. This means that even for spontaneous journeys one of these vehicles is likely to be available.
While spontaneous is great, all of Go Byron’s services can be booked well ahead of time – again, using the app. Not only does booking ahead mean you are less likely to make an alcohol- and celebration-influenced poor decision but it means you’ll be prioritised during busy times.
‘Technology makes it so much easier for people to make the decision not to drive,’ says Go Byron chairman Lindsay Roser. He suggests downloading the app in advance, rather than waiting until you have had a drink too many to get the app. Then, while you’re at it, plan your trip home from your end-of-year celebrations.
Information: #Go-Byron. Get to app now by searching Go Byron, going to https://gobyron.com.au