Greater Washington Anti-DUI Program’s Ridership More Than Triples Using Ridesharing Platform
Washington, D.C., Jan. 3 – A record over 1,500 (1,502) persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free safe ride service, SoberRide®, this New Year’s (from 8:00 pm on December 31, 2018 through 4:00 am on January 1, 2019) as opposed to possibly driving home drunk.
“For its hours of operation this New Year’s, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide® removing a potential drunk driver from Greater Washington’s roadways every 19-seconds,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, President of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program, the organization conducting the region’s SoberRide® effort.
WRAP’s most recent holiday SoberRide® offering concluded this past Tuesday morning (January 1) after kicking-off and running nightly since December 14, 2018 providing a total of 1,988 free safe rides to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking. The local anti-drunk driving service is offered as a way to keep local roads safe from potentially impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday. During the most recent 18 consecutive evening period, area residents celebrating with alcohol could download Lyft to their phones, then enter WRAP-provided codes (available at SoberRide.com) in the app’s “Promo” section to receive their no cost (up to $ 15) safe transportation home while supplies lasted.
(In 2017, WRAP announced a partnership with the ridesharing service Lyft to provide WRAP’s SoberRide® service in the Washington-metropolitan area. SoberRide®, the popular free safe ride service to prevent drunk driving, is now solely available via the Lyft mobile app ridesharing platform.)
Since partnering with Lyft, WRAP reports a more than tripling of its annual SoberRide® ridership (the charity also offers its free safe ride service on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, July 4th and Halloween) with 5,000 total riders in 2018 versus 1,655 in 2016 (the last year when the SoberRide® program was serviced by participating local taxicab companies). SoberRide® provided 4,202 rides with Lyft in 2017.
“We’re thrilled by how many people took advantage of the SoberRide® program this holiday season and on New Year’s. Lyft believes strongly in the power of rideshare to reduce impaired driving. I’m glad we were able to connect so many people with a reliable and convenient Lyft ride this past weekend,” said Steve Taylor, General Manager, Lyft Washington DC.
The most recent New Year’s ridership of 1,502 users surpassed WRAP’s previous record ridership for the holiday which had been 1,225 New Year’s SoberRide® users in 2017. The total ridership for the 2018 Holiday SoberRide® campaign (1,988) also proved to be a record surpassing last December’s total of 1,828 users.
Lyft provided SoberRide® trips last month throughout the Washington-metropolitan area to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
SoberRide® was offered throughout Lyft’s Washington, D.C. coverage area which includes all or parts of: the District of Columbia; the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.
Sponsors of this year’s Holiday SoberRide® campaign included the 395 Express Lanes, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, Heineken, Kendall-Jackson, Lyft, MillerCoors, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
Since 1991, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 75,498 free safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths historically lower than the national average.
More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.SoberRide.com.