(SIOUX CITY, IA) New Year's Eve has arrived and hundreds of people will be out celebrating the end of 2012. Instead of drinking and driving, Siouxland Taxi and local attorney Ed Keane came up with a different plan.
A free taxi ride home, for anyone that lives within 15 miles of downtown Sioux City.
"It doesn't cost them anything to get home, only thing is, they have to mention the program, which is the "Safe Ride Home" program, or Ed Keane's name," says Dana Dawdy, Head Dispatcher for Action Taxi and Siouxland Taxi.
After all, Keane is the one who sponsors the program, paying for each cab ride himself. He's a Sioux City personal injury lawyer, who's been carrying out a one-man campaign against drunk driving in Iowa for the last few years. Keane says it may ultimately put him out of business, but making the streets of Sioux City safer is worth it.
Dawdy says Siouxland Taxi and Action Taxi are ready to go.
"We're putting on extra dispatchers for tonight, and every cab that we own will be on the street. Extra cab drivers will be coming in to help, between the two companies we'll probably have about 16 or 17 drivers and cabs on the street, so they wont have any problems getting a cab tonight," she says.
Which is good news for you, but Dawdy says there a few things you can do to ensure you get your free ride.
"Don't call from inside the bar, because it's real hard for the dispatchers to hear you. Make sure that you give the dispatcher your name, that way you know, they know who they're looking for. Give them your phone number, so they can call you and let you know when your cab's outside, and watch for your cab, otherwise someone else will be grabbing it," she says.
If you've had a little too much to drink, don't get into the car and drive call Siouxland Taxi at: (712) 277-0000 and tell the cab driver you want your free ride home courtesy of Ed Keane, and the "Safe Ride Home" program.
Cops will be running DUI checkpoints throughout the night.