Shared-ride taxi coupons are available for purchase in bulk by bar owners for patrons who may be too impaired to safely drive home, according to the Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency.
The county will be providing 10 free coupons to bar owners making their first purchase of at least 10 coupons through Aug. 30 to encourage utilization of the program and to help bar owners prepare for the Labor Day weekend.
“We’ve gotten great feedback from bar owners during shared-ride taxi coupon promotions in the past,” said Tiffany Kai, Mass Transit administrator. “While the Labor Day weekend is a great time to roll this program out, we’re glad that we can now make this resource available to interested bar owners year-round.”
A shared-ride coupon will cover a taxi ride of up to four miles with a participating company. A change to the administrative rules that govern the shared-ride taxi program was made in June to allow agencies, organizations and businesses with a compelling interest in the safe point-to-point transport of their clients or patrons — such agencies helping clients get to work, organizations serving people with mobility challenges, or establishments serving alcohol providing a responsible alternative to driving home under the influence to purchase these coupons in bulk. Purchases by individuals for personal use are unaffected by this rule change.
This year, the Hawaii Police Department has made more than 700 DUI arrests, and 12 of the 21 traffic fatalities this year involved drugs and/or alcohol. The Police Department will increase enforcement of drunken driving as part of a national campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which runs through Sept. 2. During the campaign, police will conduct 20 to 30 sobriety checkpoints islandwide.
For more information or to purchase shared-ride taxi coupons, call 961-8343.