Sober Ride starts Thursday in Little Falls and Camp Ripley

The company’s goal is to be dependable and have timely service

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Not too long ago, two friends sat down and brainstormed about what Little Falls needed as far as a unique business was concerned. Dave Lester and Jeff Hines, both of Little Falls, came up with Sober Ride, a new concept to the area.

“We realized that people who have had one too many drinks, or maybe more, still need to get home,” said Lester. “I have been in that situation when I needed a ride after a night out.”

Sober Ride makes its debut in Little Falls and Camp Ripley Thursday with three vans ready and waiting to escort people to the bars or home when the evening is exhausted. Pictured with one of the vans are owners Jeff Hines, left, and Dave Lester.

The two men purchased three vans which hold six people each, and hired six drivers. Sober Ride will be available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. It begins this Thursday.

“Our goal is for our customers to have little or no wait times for the van,” said Hines. “We will drive people from their home to the bar, from bar to bar and from the bar to home. We feel that when people call for our services, many times the van will be close by.”

One of the vans will be exclusively for Little Falls and another for the Camp Ripley area. The third van will be a floater and go where needed.

“We have worked with the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, the Little Falls Police Department, Camp Ripley, area bars, restaurants and hotels, along with Morrison County Public Health to set this program up,” said Hines. “We will give it a year, traveling an approximate 10-mile radius of Little Falls. After that, we will be looking to expand into other communities.”

Hines said that the word has been out for a while that this was coming.

“It’s hard to keep a secret in Little Falls,” he said. “People have been calling me wondering when it will begin.”

Sober Ride will charge $10 per person for a one-way trip and $25 per person for rides all evening.

The vans won’t wait for a party to move from bar to bar, but when a customer is ready to go on to another establishment, all they have to do is call and the van will be there to pick them up.

For more information, or to order a van, call Sober Ride dispatch at (320) 360-2493.