IT HAS never been any secret that the concentrated bar and club areas of Sea Isle City and Avalon attract hordes of young adults every summer evening. Although it many tend to be somewhat upscale, it's also no secret that craft beer can get you just as sloshed as cheaper stuff - sometimes more, if you're quaffing those hoppy, high-alcohol double IPAs.
In hopes of mitigating drunken driving, bar fights and other alcohol-induced issues, for summer 2012, Sea Isle City issued licenses for jitney drivers to do evening runs up and down the island.
Last year, the two towns on Seven Mile Island, Avalon and Stone Harbor, followed suit. Both have been huge successes.
Police on Seven Mile Island and Sea Isle City have estimated that DUIs and other alcohol-related offenses are down considerably, maybe as much as 30 to 40 percent. The jitneys run from late afternoon until 2 a.m., with the price going from $2 a ride to $4 at 11 p.m.
The jitneys - alcohol-free zones - have become meeting places for those young adults as well. The ride from the 21st Street clubs in Avalon down to a rental in the 80s or 90s in Stone Harbor can take a good while at 25 mph.
Some revelers have become creative, asking drivers - for a little extra tip - to get them to one side of the Townsend's Inlet Bridge then walking across either from Sea Isle to Avalon or the other way 'round, and picking up the other island's jitney to continue onward.