A New Jersey Town, Fed Up With Drunk Drivers, Partners With Uber to Drive Drinkers Home
Evesham Township is not large – just 45,000 people – but it had a large problem. Its 19 drinking establishments were turning out drunk drivers in surprising quantity. The of arrests number was climbing toward a record-breaking 250.
A shuttle pilot program in September showed that offering free rides home for drinkers started to turn things around. Now the
town is partnering with the ride-share service Uber to give free rides to anyone who needs a lift home, so those drinkers don’t become drunk drivers.
The idea is to make it easy to leave your car where it is, and hop a ride home any night of the week. The program, funded by donors, offers rides from 9 in the evening to 2 in the morning.
Of course, drinkers have been using Uber all over the country to make it home safely. The difference here is that Evesham township is picking up the tab. Another service, BeMyDD, is also available in the area. That too is funded by nonprofits and donors. And while other municipalities have designated driver programs, particularly on holidays, this is the first direct partnership between Uber and government.
One town in New Jersey is not a trend, but it‘s certainly good news for the citizens who want to keep their community safe. If it takes off, it might expand a new area of public-private partnership around the US, and make it easier than ever to make the right decision and not drink and drive.