Call a taxi. Summon Uber with your smartphone. Hop a city bus or a subway train. All good ways to avoid a DWI – if they’re available where you live.
One town has figured out an answer. Silver City, New Mexico offers weekend partiers the Corre Cantinas bus, a shuttle that will ferry drinkers home from a big night out safely. The cost: $3.50 per person each way.
The county subsidizes the cost of the buses, which have reduced the number of alcohol-related crashes on days that it operates. Unfortunately, it’s only available on weekends, but the reduction in crashes – and fatalities – speaks for itself.
Corre Cantinas is a reminder that a functioning mass transport system – even one that only operates two nights a week – is one of the most effective protections against drunk driving. The important point is that the alternatives have to be easily available, reasonably priced, and top-of-mind (because people who have been drinking often aren’t thinking clearly). It helps that the service has been going for ten years, and is well-known (locals call it the “drunk bus”).
Should more small towns adopt Silver City’s idea? We can’t think of a wiser use of public funds.