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Lafayette bar owner giving out free rides

The owner of Bobby T's and Pete's Diner in downtown Lafayette is offering a free alternative to ride sharing apps.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2018 5:50 PM
Updated: Mar. 15, 2018 9:35 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - It's a common goal to bridge the gap between Lafayette and West Lafayette. One downtown businessman thinks he can help accomplish it for free.

The owner of Bobby T's and Pete's Diner, Robert Turner is offering free rides home this weekend. 

"The bus is ready to go," said Turner. "St. Patrick's Day is on Saturday this year, March Madness is going on, Purdue is playing on Friday."

The rides don't cost money but you can donate to Pete's Pals. 

"Which is another way we are giving back to the community," said Turner. 

It's not going to operate every weekend, Turner will post on Facebook the next time he plans to offer the service. He hopes it will be another way to entice people on campus to visit downtown.

"I see the kids over there in West Lafayette with the Breakfast Club and we are a Breakfast Club," said Turner. "So, when fun weekends like that are going on, I'd like to get it worked out where I can travel back and forth from campus all day long."

Turner is going to be shuttling people at 6th and Main Streets in Downtown Lafayette. He said he doesn't care if that means people will start going to other bars in the area. If downtown is successful, he's successful.

"I think it's a great idea, it's going to definitely attract people more downtown," said former Purdue student Matt Violanti.

He wishes this existed when he went to Purdue.

"Cause we didn't really have Uber either so, taxi service is expensive," said Violanti.

You can't beat free. That's why Uber Driver Cody Gramlin is a little nervous.

"That cuts down on our business," said Gramlin.

He warmed up to it after News 18 explained there's only 16 seats on the bus.

"When you were mentioning a shuttle, I was thinking like one of these City Buses or something," said Gramlin. "I mean, that's still going to take some business but I can live, you know, a little more comfortably."

Everyone in this story is happy more people will be getting home OK.

"Sometimes you can see people passed out in unsafe areas and things like that because they drank a few too many," said Gramlin. "There are quite a few bars around here so it's nice to see people are trying to make it a little safer of a place so I will support that."

Turner will be taking people home this Friday and Saturday at the top of the hour from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. and he said he'll take you home as long as you live within a four mile radius of Bobby T's and Pete's.

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