A downtown denizen (myself included) really doesn’t need the hassle of driving to Pacific Beach for nightlife. Nor should the PB knuckleheads (a tough-love term of affection) come downtown and drunk-drive home.
I’m not advocating that everybody just stay on their own turf -- though that’s what I do, mostly. Recognizably, there are legitimate reasons or events that entail -- deep breath -- leaving the home base of operations.
To that end, kudos to Link Shuttle for starting LocalLink. It’s a shuttle service that starts up this weekend, with dropoff and pickup at The Local (intersection of 4th and C) in downtown, and The Open Bar in Pacific Beach, on Mission Boulevard between Grand and Thomas avenues. Vans will leave each bar on the hour from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The round-trip ride will cost you $10. A one-way taxi fare from downtown to Pacific Beach is estimated at $25-$30.
“We’re excited about this ride-share idea,” spokesperson Aaron Heier said. “It’s a safety idea, as well as a green and economical idea. If you’ve got eight friends who all want to go to a specific location, you don’t have to take eight cars.”
The vans fit up to 30 people. LocalLink is committed to running the shuttle all summer, Heier said. If demand is there, the company will extend it beyond the summer, or do back-and-forth service from other locations.
Link Shuttle got its start in 1996 as a small-scale transportation service for local university students. Owner Cynthia Sanders partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in an effort to get students home safely from downtown. Today, Link Shuttle has 25 vans and 40 employees.
Is drinking allowed on the shuttle bus between downtown and PB? “Yes,” Heier said. “But these are not party buses.”
And make note, knuckleheads: There are no potties.
Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com and a contributing editor to sandiego.com. His Web site (sandiegoDTOWN.com) is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.