Vail Daily letter: A better way for getting the drunks home |

Vail Daily letter: A better way for getting the drunks home

David G. Kraft
Vail, CO, Colorado

A better way

As a goodwill ambassador of Vail, I don’t like to see situations perpetuated where aggression and hostility are created by survivalist instinct responses. That gives Vail a bad image for our visitors to take home when it could be flawless.

What is a survivalist instinct response? The need to fight for the last scrap of a scarce commodity in high demand, like war zones.

I prefer harmony and peace versus anarchy, adrenaline and alcohol-fueled aggression, Don’t most people? But put normally peaceable folks in tension and that all changes.

Take, for example, the reality of mob mentality at transportation center at bar-closing time.

If a group is not aggressive, they will be the last one home. See how that encourages bad behavior? When people resort to jumping in front of cabs, it adds an element of danger that could be prevented with a cab line and Vail’s official ride arranger laying down flawless logistics. The only role the cops would need to take most nights is to prevent line jumping.

Picture two groups checking in with Vail’s late night ride arranger. Both parties only occupy half a cab or limo and are going the same place.

The arranger would fuse those two rides before any of the travelers knew what hit them.

A per-person price would be quoted at the start of their trip so if any given passenger didn’t like the deal, they could bail if they really thought there was a better option.

I see this as a workable solution that might get the police home an hour earlier due to increased efficiency. Drivers, too. Are any policemen interested in going home an hour earlier? I wonder how their spouses feel?

The ride arranger would use the seats available in the most efficient way possible. There would be no preferential treatment to any one company and for that matter, any riders, either. The ride arranger’s primary reason for existing would be to create a harmonic atmosphere at bar-closing time to replace the mob of angry travelers. When people know their fair turn is coming, they become patient and relaxed. See how that’s better than people jumping in front of cars?

When two alpha males go for the same cab, someone has to lose. I’ve seen plenty of dudes ready to break someone’s nose over the conflict. It would be so easy to fix if both alphas knew their fair turn was coming. The ride arranger would be like a conductor of a symphony of travel elegance. Every company would save on gas and pollution. People would get home faster. Maybe, just maybe, people would see that the answer to the angry mob is being so efficient there’s no serious back og of travelers.

Take, for example, last night as I write. A woman gets shoved out of the way going for a cab. Her brother defends her and winds up going to jail. He was so angry with police that there was a fight at the police station. Now he’s in serious legal trouble, all over a fight for a cab.

The other people with them got in a heated argument with police, and they all came really close to going to jail, as well. I stepped up to the plate and whisked them away before there was more trouble.

I saved police five more headaches when I refused to let them all get out at the police station. I picked the most sober and reasonable one to bail out their friend. I cranked up the Jimmy Buffet station and it tranquilized them on the way home. Do I get any thanks for that? No. Limo drivers are harassed by police and labeled “loitering” vagrants.

What if every cab and limo driver who pulled up to the curb after the last bus left was instantly loaded to the hilt with people all going the same place?

See how that’s a better use of scarce resources than”milk runs”? That’s where a driver loads passengers with multiple destinations and they milk them on the last run for all it’s worth.

Some drivers take advantage of someone so drunk that a hundred dollar bill is given for a ten buck ride.

The drivers out there who correct someone about to make a $90 mistake get a big deposit in the great karma bank in the sky.

The robbing-them-blind scenario is a double withdrawal from the karma bank. Bad things can come your way if you do it.

There is a monumental waste of scarce resources after the last bus departs downvalley. How many times have two cabs pulled up to the same place half empty and they both came from the transportation center? And it happens every night. It’s one of the reasons the mob is there. No one is arranging their rides efficiently.

I suggest we adopt a different approach. It’s a “no man left behind” ideal, not profit- or aggression-driven. It’s also based on the first-come, first-served principle.

It’s the only system that is fair. If everyone knows their turn is coming, a sense of calm will replace the survivalist bent.

Can you all see how our visitors would benefit from this new attitude, and the locals? The Vail transportation system could either be remembered for chaos or harmony at bar closing. What’s your pick?

Have you ever heard a symphony play without a conductor? I have. They suck even though they have the same piece of sheet music. There is no one guiding the ebb and flow of the tempo. A ride arranger would have a congruent mission, like symphony conductor.

David G. Kraft

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