No Taxis? No Uber? No Problem: One New Mexico Town Fights Drunk Driving with a Bus.

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.

New Mexico Bus Fights Drunk DrivingWhat if you’re in a tiny rural town in New Mexico, with a population of ten thousand, and nary a taxi in sight? Your options are limited.

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.