Door County’s newest safe ride…

This article is about my niece Kate… I copied the article from the Peninsula Pulse…  Best of luck girl!!!

Hop-N-Stop Bus Service
Eight different bars, one small price

May 28, 2010
Kate Hastings is on a mission. Her goal? To reunite all the little towns of Door County and stop drunk driving. This may sound like a lofty aspiration. Certainly, it’s been a topic of conversation amidst the county crowd for some time.

With the help of friends and sponsors, Hastings took the risk and put her plan for the new Hop-N-Stop Bus Service in action. What started as a great idea has gone from possible, to bus-has-been-purchased, to in-operation.

Kate Hastings is offering a new way to bar-hop in Northern Door. photo by Dan Eggert.

The dream was born of many nights bartending and watching folks who had consumed a couple too many drinks decide to drive to the next bar in the next town, some 15 minutes away.

For a short time, Hastings, 30, lived in Milwaukee and took advantage of the city’s cab service to avoid drinking and driving. When she moved back to the county, she went out to dinner, and, after sharing a bottle of wine with friends, remembered that there was no way to get home without drinking and driving. After years of kicking the Hop-N-Stop idea around in her head, she decided it was time.

“So many times I would get a call from a friend that was at the Bayside, wanting me to come and see them,” she says. “But I’d be at the Sister Bay Bowl and, having already had a few drinks, didn’t want to drive. My friends at the Bayside didn’t want to drive either. So you end up with, ‘Okay, maybe another time. Have a good night…'”

Uniting the county’s tourists and locals proves another advantage to the Hop-N-Stop bus. Hastings gives people the opportunity to branch out from their town’s bar scene. Just hop on the bus after a few drinks at Sonny’s Pizzeria and head to Sister Bay or Baileys Harbor’s sponsor sites.

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“I’m in favor of it,” says Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel. “I think anytime you can reduce the chances of a person that has consumed too much alcohol getting behind the wheel, that’s great. If you can stop them from trying to drive and you have someone else doing it, that’s a wonderful thing for the county. I commend Kate.”

The bus will run on a regular schedule, much like a city bus. Bars and hotels will have schedules of when the bus is coming, along with the name and address of where it’s going, so patrons can readily access all information. It costs just $5 to board, and $20 gets you an all night pass on the Hop-N-Stop bus.

The bars currently sponsoring the Hop-N-Stop bus are: Husby’s Food and Spirits, Sister Bay Bowl, AC Tap, Cornerstone Pub, Florian II Lakeshore Rib & Steak House, Bayside, Blue Ox, Sonny’s Pizzeria and Cooper’s Corner, with more to come.

“We don’t want people to be driving drunk, and it’s part of the bar’s responsibility to stop them from doing it. This gives folks another way to get around without driving their own vehicle, and I’m all for that,” says Husby’s bar manager James Larsen.

No longer will Sister Bay and Fish Creek seem so far away from each other, and friends living in different towns can easily go to the same bars – all without driving. If there’s live music at Husby’s but you don’t want to risk driving, you don’t have to.

“We have a lot of live music,” Larsen says. “People want to come and enjoy the band, but they don’t want to drive. Personally, I’m excited to use it to go to some places I really haven’t been frequenting because of the driving factor. I think it’s going to be helpful.”

The ultimate goal, according to Hastings, is to unite the entirety of Door County in one large intermingling loop, from Sturgeon Bay all the way up to Ellison Bay.

“That’s the big dream,” Hastings says, “Eventually, I’d like to combine all the bars and all the communities into one again. So that we’re all just ‘Door Countians’ instead of from ‘Sister Bay’ or ‘Fish Creek.'”

Just remember that the Hop-N-Stop bus cannot deliver you right to your front door. It will take you back to the bar you started at, but you’ve still got to get yourself home. To that end, the Door County Safe Ride provides free rides home if you are too inebriated and home is not within walking distance.

“We are such a sprawling community that the resources I would need to get everyone to all the bars and then back home again – right now it’s almost impossible. The best I can do is get you close to home and the DC Safe Ride can take it from there,” Hastings says.

When the bus arrives, just hop on! Currently, the bus operates on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 7 pm. and running until bar time. The Hop-N-Stop bus will expand its hours as the summer season gets underway.

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