Bus program aims to curb drunk driving

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Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt Special to the Leader

Galen Sherbon of Green Bay established his business, Another Way Entertainment LLC, in June 2013. What started as a party bus service has continually grown with the addition of services. The latest addition — three 19-passenger buses that are meant to help encourage responsible drinking — led him to apply for the Green Bay Packers’ mentor/protégé program.

“I connected with Bob Jahnke at the initial meeting because I wanted to get partnered up with a marketing person,” Sherbon explained. “He has his own marketing software for texting and email and told me how much that could benefit my business.”

Jahnke, owner of Top Hat Marketing and a Green Bay SCORE volunteer, was impressed with Sherbon’s business knowledge and has been helping him work toward his goal of getting the word out about the new service.

Since Jahnke has more business experience, Sherbon said he also appreciates his generational perspective and looks for feedback on how to clarify what his business does.

“My main concern is to make people aware of how the service works and what the SafeRide program is,” he said. “I have a passion for this. If you enjoy going out and having a few drinks, you shouldn’t drive home. Drunk driving is disgusting, and I wanted to do something about it.”

He has partnered with the local tavern league and has signed on 51 taverns as participants. Those taverns are included on one of three routes that can be chosen by patrons of Another Way Entertainment. The idea for the buses originated at Richard Cranium’s bar.

The concept is simple: To board the bus, a person needs to buy a drink and pay $1 for a bus token. They use the token to board one of the three buses on the route they’d like to take. At the end of the night, the tavern that the person is at will provide a safe ride home so that the customer doesn’t drive after drinking.

An app has been developed to allow participants to track the bus and be outside waiting when it pulls up.

“There is still some confusion as to how it works,” Sherbon said. “Some people thought that the bus would be taking them home instead of being part of the SafeRide Program.”

He noted that SafeRide, organized by members of the Brown County Tavern League, is offered at participating taverns. If a person has had too much to drink, he or she can request a cab, and the bartender will call one and give out a voucher to pay for it.

It works well with the mission of Another Way Entertainment (www.anotherwayentertainment.com) to use buses and technology to provide a better solution to not drink and drive. Sherbon also said that it has other benefits, even for those who are just going out for a few drinks. One of his bus drivers is convinced there will be a couple that will connect and find their soul mate.

Even if that does not happen, it is fun and social like the other parts of his business that feature party buses for weddings and other events, such as brewery, winery and other tours. Sherbon said that balancing all of the moving parts requires long hours.

“I wear a lot of hats, and I don’t mean the fashion ones that we all have. I mean I am the everything in the business. I plan this out and get this taken care of,” Sherbon said. “The best part of it is crossing things off my list. I work seven days a week and love what I do. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

As he continues to build and add services, he said he isn’t afraid to take risks and learns from failures. In the next few years, once the tavern buses are established, he’d like to work with companies and offer corporate shuttles. In the interim, he plans to network, get the word out on social media and provide exceptional service that will have customers coming back.

“All the books I’ve read talk about failures, but they aren’t really failures. They are learning experiences. Everyone fails; it is how you get up that’s the most important thing,” Sherbon said.