Richmond's To the Bottom and Back bus service no more? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Richmond's To the Bottom and Back bus service no more?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond's free bus service that runs from Shockoe Bottom to the Fan is a staple on New Year's Eve,  but lately the "To the Bottom and Back" bus has been noticeably absent.

It's likely, folks won't see the bus Tuesday evening. NBC12 has been trying to reach the owner for the past six weeks.

Last month, we confirmed one of the buses was sold at auction. Numerous e-mails to the owner have gone unanswered and the phone number is disconnected.

The bus has been in operation since 2009 but last year, the non-profit ran into trouble when ridership and the donations it relies on began to fall.

"For that service to be gone, it's a tragedy," said Charlie Diradour, who once sponsored the bus service.

This New Year's Eve, Diradour is investing in another ride to help people get home safe. Diradour is the sponsor behind Spoken4 pedicab. At least three bikes will be ready to take folks home New Year's Eve night in the Fan, Carytown or Scott's Addition.

"We just want people to have fun," said Katie Hurst with Spoken4. "We're all about Richmonders having a different kind of unique experience and we just want people to get home safely tomorrow night so that's our goal."

If outdoor seating isn't your thing, Allen & Allen law firm is offering free cab rides across metro-Richmond. Last year, Allen & Allen gave away $3,000 worth of free cab rides and this year, it expects that number to grow.

"Give us a call about 25-45 minutes in advance," said Amber Scott with Napoleon Taxi. "We can get everyone covered but we definitely plan on it being busy."

The service goes from 10:00 p.m. Tuesday until 5:00 a.m. Wednesday. To get the free ride, you must be going home, not to another bar.

One misconception is that AAA will be offering free towing Tuesday night. While some AAA's across the country are offering that service, metro-Richmond is not.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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