For The Holidays, Get A Free RideNew York City is using give-aways and social media to help New Yorkers get home safely on New Years. They're giving away:
- 1,500 free $15 cab rides to use within any of the 5 boroughs, plus
- 4,000 single-ride MetroCards.
NYC Anti Drunk Driving Campaign Hands Out $30,000 For Safety Over New Years 2011The point of the You The Man program is to discourage drunk driving — and encourage New Year revelers to use mass transit or cabs, car services, or sober designated drivers.
The giveaways alone in the You The Man anti-drunk driving campaign are worth over $30,000 at face value. The promotion, an initiative of the City Department of Transportation, not the MTA, will hand out $22,500 in cab rides, and $9,000 in free bus and subway rides in the two weeks before New Year's Eve. That seems like a lot of money, but it's nothing compared to the loss of a life.
The target audience is men age 21 to 39, who, according to city statistics, are "most likely to get into a DWI-related crash or accept a ride from an intoxicated driver".
Where & When to Get Taxi and MetroCardsIn 2011, the Taxi and MetroCards will be distributed at different times and places. The freebies will be distributed around the city at a few major events and also by "street teams" at the locations below.
To learn the exact whereabouts of the giveaways — — for instance, where in the Fulton Mall? — follow You The Man online and on Twitter.
The campaign's Twitter address is @Youthemannyc.
Free Taxi Card & Metro Card: How to UseFree MetroCard : Using the free holiday MetroCard is simple; it's just like any other MetroCard. The freebie Metro cards work on the whole system: subways and buses run by the MTA, as well as PATH, and NJ Transit. You cannot use the MetroCard to pay for a cab ride or car service.
Free Taxi Card: How does the Taxi Card work? It's simply a pre-paid debit card.
According to the DOT, people can use them in both yellow cabs and participating livery car services. If you are taking a car service, ask the driver before you hop in if he or she will take the city's Taxi Card. The Taxi Card is worth $15. If your ride is more than that, you have to pay the balance.
The pre-paid debit cards are also redeemable exclusively "in the city’s 13,000-plus taxicabs, participating livery car services, MTA, PATH, NJ Transit or other ticketing machines from Dec. 16 through noon, Jan. 1, 2012," says the agency.
Use the "Find a Ride" Button to Get Phone Numbers for Local Car Services in BrooklynNot sure where to find a car service on New Year's Eve to get back home? Stuck in Brooklyn, where the chances of finding a yellow cab are slim?
Not to worry. The DOT website lists car services by neighborhood, so you can just check into their website, type in where you are located, and up pops a few names of local car services.
People can access the "Find a Ride" service on the city-run website, here.
Things to Know About New York's Free New Year's Transportation Cards
Safety Campaign Underwritten by Johnnie WalkerIf a $30,000 giveaway in the midst of a recession sounds too good to be true, of course there's a hitch.
Ironically, this campaign was underwritten, in part, by the alcohol industry. The DOT, according to their December 2011 press release, is "working with Johnnie Walker to provide 1,500 free debit cards." Those prepaid debit cards account for the lion's share of the giveaway, worth up to about $22,000.
DOT launched the first Safe Rides Home program in 2010. Over three quarters of all debit card transactions from that giveaway took place between 10 P.M. and 5 A.M. on New Year's Eve, according to an agency spokesperson.