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Local bar providing shuttle for patrons

NEW GLASGOW – Patrons of The Thistle Bar and Grill no longer have to worry about how they’ll get home if they’ve had a few drinks.

Driver Mitch MacDonald and manager Candace Martin stand beside The Thistle Bar and Grill’s new shuttle, which will provide free drives to and from the establishment. 

As of Thursday, the establishment began offering a free shuttle service.

“To ultimately cut down on drinking and driving in the community,” said owner Trevor Murphy, “I just felt it was a service that was needed here.”

He said he had been working on a plan for another business that didn’t materialize, and that proposal included a van. “So I kept the idea.”

He hopes people will take advantage of the service to go out for dinner, and enjoy a couple of drinks without the worry of how they will get home.

Murphy said he doesn’t know of any other bars that operate a free shuttle service.

He said he likes to try new ideas at The Thistle, such as different drinks. “I want to be on the leading edge of something different all the time.”

To use the service, customers can send a text to the driver, who will call to confirm the number of people needing pick up and the address. The shuttle holds up to seven passengers plus the driver, and requires a minimum of two people per trip.

The service is offered free of charge, but Murphy said if people feel obligated to tip, they can provide a gratuity to the driver.

“I hope people use it. We’re offering it free so people don’t drink and drive.”

Const. Ken MacDonald of the New Glasgow Police Service said so far in 2016, his department has had 22 calls in relation to impaired driving, which includes drugs and alcohol.

“We welcome any type of alternate way home that will get people home safe,” he said.

The Thistle will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer. Murphy, who grew up in Trenton but now lives in Halifax, has owned the establishment for the past 10 years.

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