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December 21, 2010

MillerCoors pays for all MTA services New Year's Eve; Circulator offers extended hours

Drink that eggnog with abandon.

The Maryland Transit Administration* will offer free services on New Year's Eve thanks to beer conglomerate MillerCoors.

The MTA and Miller partnered to provide free bus, metro subway and light rail service on New Year's Eve throughout the Baltimore region - the first time residents have had free public transportation over the holiday.

The free services begin at 8 p.m. December 31 and will last until 2 a.m January 1. 

Kim Marotta, an executive at Miller Coors, said the freebie is to help Baltimore residents plan for safe rides home from New Year's celebrations. They're calling the program Miller Lite Rides, a name they've actually trademarked. 

Miller has offered the free rides for 23 years across the country on different holidays, but this is the first time it's been offered in Baltimore.

A spokeswoman for the company said it began talks with the MTA in mid-July to offer the free rides here. The company hopes to offer more of them in the future during different holidays, as it already does in other cities.

Still, that means there'll be a surplus of free public transportation on New Year's Eve.

The Charm City Circulator will work until 1 a.m. that day, and until midnight on New Year's Day.

For a schedule of the Miller Lite rides, call 1-800-free-rides, text RIDEMTA to 30364, or visit or

For a list of New Year's Eve parties and bars that are staying open late, see The Sun's FindLocal NYE guide

*Corrected from Maryland Transportation Authority

Photo: Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

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Posted by Erik Maza at 11:51 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: New Year's Eve 2010


So what are the NYE options this year? Where are the best parties?

That'll be the cover of the Dec 31 issue of Live

perhaps the headline should read Corporate conglomerate seeks to whitewash death at the hands of its customers one night out of 365.

Perhaps it should just be much more responsible in marketing and not encourage binge drinking in the first place.

"That'll be the cover of the Dec 31 issue of Live"

You are joking right? You are getting out the details just in time for, uh oh i made plans already thanks though Erik!

"The free services begin at 8 p.m. December 31 and will last until 2 a.m January 1."

So when the bars close, it is no longer free? NICE

What!? They can't trademark Miller Lite Rides! That's a piece of my cultural heritage! My grandmother lived the Miller Lite Rides; my mother was conceived on a Miller Lite Ride; I grew up on Miller Lite Rides. MillerCoors, you can't take that from me, Hon.

I agree 2am is not late enough if you stay until last call, needs to be at least 3am - but a step in the right direction. Better than the TIPSY TAXI that never picks up the phone or shows up.

This should actually be the "Maryland Transit Administration," not "Maryland Transportation Authority" in the first paragraph. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is the toll facilities. Thanks!

Some bars in Baltimore stay open all night long on New Year's Eve. Most stay open til at leas 3am or 4am. I wonder if there will be more buses after 2am.

Rather than searching individual bar web sites and hoping they're kept up-to-date enough to cover their NYE options, I was hoping to find some sort of coverage in the Nightlife blog

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Maza, and assume the decision was your editor's, and not yours. NYE party coverage on 12/31, when most require buying tickets in advance? How about a "Corkboard" so people can share what they know, or maybe they just do it on this thread?

(not that its your "responsibility" to list/cover/suggest NYE parties ... but if you're going to do it, do it so it provides something)

Just my two cents

@firstanonymous, the blog isn't an events database. For that we have FindLocal. And if you go here, you'll see a roundup of NYE's eve events. The Dec 31 story will be on last ditch and out of the way NYE parties.
Remember now, want event listings? FindLocal! has an event calendar page with a brief rundown of each bar/club party. Some offer open bar, some cash and are all affordable and only two blocks from the inner harbor to see the fireworks. Additionally, has several good hotel options for NYE too.

I second the suggestion for a Corkboard post about what's going on around town. Even if it gets a bunch of shills it will give people a starting point and will up your comment count. Everyone wins, in my opinion.

It would be nice if there was a run down of what bars are open on Xmas and Xmas Eve too.

Are establishments required to pay a fee in order to be listed on FindLocal?

Erik, I third the suggestion for the Corkboard post. Find local never posts anything from me, I have tried numerous times to post stuff on there.

But for those looking for NYE, here's two!/event.php?eid=152778358101231

All night party:!/event.php?eid=174038929282041

and don't forget open bar Christmas parties with dj'ing by Midnight Sun's own ECommerce Consultant!/event.php?eid=177664068918655

@Foo-No Idea and Don't Know will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas as well.
Gotta go, it's getting shilly in here

Um...if I'm not mistaken, Baltimore bars don't close at 2am on January 1. In fact, they don't have to close at all until January 2 at 2am.

But maybe this has changed. I'm just an old historian, ya know.

@Eutaw Street Historian

you are correct, there are a couple of places that I know that stay open all night long, No Idea and The Rowan Tree being two of them.

If it was only like that every day.

Maybe if Erik could complie a list of every bar in Baltimore that will be staying open all night. That would be great, get on that EM, would ya?

@ jason z, Re: FindLocal: hmm...interesting.

I hope we can get clarification from someone on whether establishments pay for FindLocal listings. The webpage notes that listings are free, but your experience makes me want to ask my original question in a slightly different way:

Can establishments pay a fee to be listed on FindLocal?

I think it's important that readers know the mechanism behind these listings.

@charlie. the person who handles the findlocal database is rebecca hyler, at ask away. But my understanding is that no, FindLocal listings are added by Sun staff and by readers. The system is not perfect, however, and sometimes experiences glitches, which is what Jason may have experienced.

Shilly me,

I forgot to mention another Christmas Party tonight for the Midnight Sunnders and others at Don't Know. Open bar from 7-10 with DJand buffet. Have fun and Happy Holidays.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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