Between the hours of 6pm on November 22 and 6am on November 23, Staten Island residents can open up their Uber apps and enter the promo code “SISAFERIDE” to unlock 2 free rides, up to $15 each. The rides must start and end in Staten Island.
The Forest Avenue BID, the South Shore BID, and the Richmond County Bar Association have generously signed on as main sponsors of this initiative. In addition, the Staten Island Rotary Club and Li Greci’s Staaten have also agreed to become sponsors.
“We don’t want a single person getting behind the wheel of a car drunk,” said Borough President Oddo. “The night before Thanksgiving is traditionally a big party night where many make bad decisions. Through this partnership we want Staten Islanders to know that if they are planning on drinking that night, they have easy access to a ride both to their destination and back home. I know folks don’t always plan on driving drunk, instead they sometimes get a bit carried away while out with friends and then they don’t want to leave their car parked overnight in a neighborhood far from home. This initiative ensures that they can keep their cars home and not have to make that decision. I strongly urge those who going out in Staten Island that night to make the right choice and use the code for the free rides. Thank you to Uber for another important, potentially life-saving partnership with the Staten Island community.”
“We are proud to support the Borough President’s efforts to raise awareness about the risk of driving under the influence and help ensure Staten Island residents have a reliable ride home while out celebrating,” said Josh Gold, Senior Policy Manager, Uber NY. “As the Holiday season approaches, the need for more safe transportation options is more pronounced than ever and Uber always strives to arm people with more options when hitting the road.”
“For so many Staten Islanders, Thanksgiving Eve is a night to reconnect with old friends in our hometown. Unfortunately for some that means getting behind the wheel after drinking too much and putting lives at risk,” said District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of this potentially life-saving offer and make the responsible decision not to drink and drive. But make no mistake about it – if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the NYPD will arrest you and my office will prosecute you to the full extent of the law. We are proud to partner with Borough President Oddo and Uber to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and provide safe travel alternatives for Staten Islanders.”
“The holiday season is a special time for joy and togetherness, but it’s also the one of the most dangerous times of the year because of the increased frequency of drunk driving,” said Tara Spohrer, MADD New York Walk Manager. “I applaud Borough President Oddo and District Attorney McMahon for their leadership in raising awareness around the risks of impaired driving this Thanksgiving Eve. Uber has been a proven tool to reduce drunk driving incidents and make our roads, children, and families safer and we encourage all Staten Island residents to take advantage of this partnership.”
“The Forest Avenue BID is thrilled to work with the Borough President’s initiative and to encourage the safety of our customers and neighbors on a night enjoyed by many,” said Megan Coppola, Forest Avenue BID Chair. “In being a part of this wonderful course of action, our highlighted restaurants and bars are helping commit to the safety of their patrons first and foremost and are truly showing what a great community West Brighton is.”
“Our Board unanimously supports the Borough President on this initiative,” said Gary Fleming, President of The South Shore BID. “There are many popular bar and restaurant locations in our District, and SI SAFE RIDE will highlight that these merchants are dedicated not only to their patrons, but to the community at large.”
Richmond County Bar Association President Allyn Crawford said, “As President of the organization representing hundreds of Staten Island’s legal professionals, we are proud to support this innovative and common-sense partnership developed by Borough President Oddo, District Attorney McMahon, and Uber. Our members see firsthand the devastating impacts that a drunk driving incident has on our clients and their families. By incentivizing Staten Islanders to make the right choice and leave their car at home this Thanksgiving Eve, we are reinforcing the fact that driving drunk on our streets is completely avoidable.”
In 2003, Oddo and McMahon, then City Council Members, sponsored “Operation Arrive Alive,” a similar, though low-tech initiative that relied on bartenders to call a cab for patrons who requested one. The 2017 version is different in that it allows patrons themselves to summon an Uber in the way they are accustomed to.
Each trip has a maximum value of $15. If a ride costs more than $15, riders will receive that much as a credit and will be responsible for the remaining money due.
Uber has been proven to help reduce drunk driving across America. For example, DUI arrests in Seattle decreased by more than 10% after Uber started serving riders and drivers in the city, according to a recent study. A recent independent study conducted by Temple University found cities where Uber operates have 3.6%-5.6% fewer drunk driving deaths than cities without access to ridesharing.
A report by Uber and MADD released in January concludes that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making responsible choices that result in fewer alcohol-related crashes.
Initiative sponsors, the Forest Avenue BID and the South Shore BID, include the following nightlife establishments: Curly Wolf Saloon, Play, Joyce’s Tavern, Campania, Talk of The Town, Flanagan’s Tavern, Marmar Restaurant, Jody's Club Forest, Liberty Tavern, Ho Brah A Taco Joint, Cafe Milano, Kettle Black, Kings Arms Diner, 3 Guys Sushi, Panini Grill, Burrito Bar & Restaurant, Duffy's, Bruno's Li Greci's Staaten, Casa Franco.