A few drinks down and tottering on her stilettos, Kajal Shah, 28, won’t hit the wheel after bringing in the New Year’s at Belapur’s Indulge bar and pub. Instead, Shah will be driven to her Vashi home in a chauffeur driven car offered by the Navi Mumbai pub.
“I will be able to have a good time with my friends without my family worrying about me. They are assured that I will reach home safely,” said Shah.
Like Shah, several partygoers have signed up for deals offered by city restaurants and pubs in which a chauffeur-driven car is part of the package to ensure their patrons get home safe.
“This is the first time that we are organising a chauffeur service for our customers. After downing a few drinks, partygoers find it difficult to drive home,” said Akash Vaswani, managing director, Indulge bar and pub. “Apart from roping in local drivers from Navi Mumbai, we have also signed up with some existing chauffeur service companies. This is an additional facility, which will ensure that our customers can party without worry,” added Vaswani.
Party Hard Drivers, a company offering chauffeurs on hire, has seen a perceptible rise in the number of advance bookings for New Year Eve this year. “We have already completed 25% of our bookings through direct calls, a week before December 31. The bookings are almost 10% more than last year,” said Ankur Vaid, co-owner of the company, which has 200 chauffeurs on call. “We have increased the rates marginally and have special New Year Eve packages,” added Vaid.
For parents worried about the safety of their daughters partying late, Viira Cabs, a year-old chauffeur service exclusively for women and families, could be a safe option. Viira has increased the number of vehicles on the road this New Year Eve. “We had only five taxis last year with chauffeurs dropping women and families back home. This year, we have added 10 new taxis,” said Revathi Roy, mentor and chief driving officer of Viira Cabs. “We will also have women chauffeurs stationed outside suburban pubs and clubs. Women can approach them directly without any additional charge,” she added.
And then there are some who rather have one of their friends do the driving. Arijay Ghosh hasn’t booked a chauffeur but is confident of getting home safe.
“We are going out in a group and will draw lots to appoint a driver who would abstain from alcohol and drop everyone home,” said the Santa Cruz resident.