The Fort Huachuca Army Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, in coordination with the Community Health Promotion Council’s Installation Prevention Team offers Soldiers, Families and Civilians a way to prevent drunk driving, especially this Memorial Day weekend, with the Safe Ride Program.
Since 2008, AAFES has contracted Transportation Express to provide local round-trip services from residences, including barracks, government quarters and off-post residences to a local establishment or private residence which serves alcohol.
“The concern was, we didn’t have a program [before] that allowed the Soldiers to get rides back and forth, on and off post if they went to a drinking establishment,” said Kevin Mills, Army Substance Abuse Program manager, as he described the history behind the program.
Mills added that one of the goals of the Safe Ride Program is to provide the service to members of the Fort Huachuca community but also maintain decent funding for Transportation Express to participate.
The round-trip fee costs $6 per person and is collected by the driver upon arrival. In exchange, the passenger receives a card with a phone number to call for the return trip.
The card is valid for a one-time use but cannot exceed 24 hours or be presented at a later date. On the return trip, if a passenger requests to go to a location other than his or her residence, an additional fee will be charged.
Transportation Express will also shuttle Soldiers who don’t have transportation on post. According to Jeff Hyatt, AAFES general manger, the service has been successful this year serving both purposes.
“[The contractor] has seen an increase in passengers for both the Safe Ride and the everyday program,” he said.
Due to the popularity of the program, it provides one more perk during Right Arm Night. Mills explained that during this particular event, Transportation Express will provide a safe ride and it’s free of charge.
Those interested in a safe ride should call 459.7778 and state that they wish to participate in the program.