FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #12-008
Seth Solomonow/Nicole Garcia (212) 839-4850
NYC DOT Gives Free Taxi, Livery and Transit Rides Home For Safe Celebrating During "March Madness"
Free MetroCards, transit debit cards and new Android app put tools in New Yorkers’ hands, encourages responsible celebrating with a designated driver
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced the return of the “Safe Rides Home” giveaway—thousands of free taxi, livery and public transit rides home to be distributed this month to coincide with the March Madness college basketball tournaments—and the release of the new, free You the Man Android app. Both are part of DOT’s multi-platform “You the Man” safety campaign, which is designed to enhance safety on New York City streets by curbing drinking and driving. For the “Safe Rides Home” promotion, DOT is working with Diageo brands Guinness, Baileys and Bushmills to provide nearly 2,000 free debit cards valued at $15 apiece for New Yorkers to use in taxis or at MetroCard or other transit-ticket machines this month. In addition, 3,000 single-ride MetroCards will be distributed citywide as part of the program. The Safe Rides Home program reminds celebrants that they can count on friends and family members as designated drivers, as well as the city’s transportation professionals: cab, livery and bus drivers and subway operators. The new Android-compatible app helps connect New Yorkers to their nearest TLC-approved car services and subway stations anywhere in New York City by using GPS.
In a city of champions, New York City has many reasons to celebrate, and planning for a safe ride home after the game this basketball tournament season is as important as filling out your brackets,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “After the celebration, the city’s designated drivers—including our taxi drivers and subway operators—make the key assists that get everyone home safely.”
“It is essential that our brands support initiatives like the Department of Transportation’s ‘Safe Rides Home’ program,” said Guy Smith, Diageo Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations. “Brands like Guinness, Baileys and Bushmills have been and always will be produced for responsible, celebratory consumption, and making sure that a designated driver is in place is part of that responsibility.”
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, hosts of WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning sports radio show, have teamed up with Guinness, Baileys and Bushmills and DOT to emphasize the importance of celebrating responsibly throughout March.
“March has always been a time of year that’s packed with excitement, from St. Patrick’s Day to rivalries being played out on the basketball court,” said Esiason. “This year we are helping Guinness, Baileys and Bushmills with their partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation for their Safe Rides Home program. They know that success does not come from being off your A-game by taking unnecessary risks, and we couldn't agree more,” added Carton.
This latest “Safe Rides Home” promotion builds on past partnerships with Diageo to provide New York residents and visitors with a free, safe ride home. In December 2010 and 2011, similar Metrocard and debit card giveaways encouraged New Year’s Eve revelers to get home safely with a designated driver. For the March Madness-themed giveaway, the rides will be distributed in the form of single-ride MetroCards, each valued at $2.25, and pre-paid debit cards, valued at up to $15. The debit cards are redeemable exclusively in the city’s 13,000-plus taxicabs, participating livery car services, MTA, PATH, NJ Transit or other ticketing machines from March 17 through noon on April 3, 2012. The distribution schedule is below. To learn the exact whereabouts and times for the giveaways, follow @YouTheManNYC on Twitter.
- March 17
- March 22
- March 31
DOT introduced the “You the Man” campaign in February 2010. The slogan, humorous approach and creative and social-media elements are designed to resonate with all New Yorkers, and especially young men ages 21-39—a demographic overrepresented in alcohol-related crashes in the city. As part of the ongoing campaign, DOT released a new series of ads that will appear online, in newspapers and outdoors on billboards, on buses and on posters. The You the Man app, which is available for iPhone and Android users, also includes an interactive Blood Alcohol Content calculator and a game to help friends select a designated driver before going out for the evening. Download the Android-version on Android Market/Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. Visit the Web site, www.youthemannyc.org, for more details, including fun games and quizzes that educate New Yorkers about safe, responsible planning.
For more information about DOT and its safety education and engineering initiatives, visit www.nyc.gov.