For many, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate Irish heritage and the legend of St. Patrick. For many others, it’s a time to get drunk on green beer and (potentially) drive drunk. Clearly, driving drunk is incredibly dangerous…
Each year, holiday weekends are the most vulnerable to DUI arrests and accidents. Each year, for example, about 40 people are killed and 2,100 people are injured in accidents over Christmas weekend, according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. Of those, 23 of the deaths and 431 of the injuries resulted from alcohol-related crashes. The numbers are nearly identical for New Years Eve weekend. To improve this daunting statistic, major California cities are joining others nationwide in offering free public transportation on New Years Eve.
Los Angeles and San Francisco have both embraced the idea as a way to cut down on the population of partying commuters who would be tempted to drive drunk. Below are some major cities that are working hard to provide free rides on New Years Eve to cut down on drunk driving arrests, accidents, and fatalities.
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Metro will provide a free fare program between 9 pm and 2 am on December 24th-25th and December 31st-January 1st.
San Francisco: A cohort of the city’s Muni busses will provide free services from 8 pm to 6 am. Extra late-night shuttles will also be included for the 5, 14, 22, 24, 38, 90, and 91 busses, as well as the L, and N light rails.
Chicago: For 25 years, the windy city’s transportation agency has provided New Years Eve service for just a penny. This year, the CTA will do the same, asking riders to “let CTA be your designated driver.” Miller Lite will also sponsor a free New Year’s shuttle.
New York: The New York City Department of Transportation has teamed up with an unexpected partner to provide free cab service for partiers on New Year’s Eve. The DOT and Sean “Diddy” Combs will distribute $25 pre-paid debit cards to New Yorkers planning to hit the town on December 31. “Diddy” claims his vodka Ciroc is the “official vodka of New Year’s Eve.”
Washington D.C.: Nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program is sponsoring SoberRide to provide free cab fares up to $50 for “would-be drunk drivers” to help reduce alcohol-related car accidents.
If you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or any of the other cities that provide free taxi and public transportation fares on New Year’s Eve, be sure to take advantage of those programs. No matter what, have a fun and safe holiday, and never ever drive drunk.
Photo credit: BluEyedA73