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Program Allows Cabbies To Drive Revelers Home In Own Cars

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers on Sunday announced a program in which taxi drivers will make sure both you and your car get home safely if you've had one drink too many.

Under the program, two taxi drivers will pick passengers up after a night of drinking. One of the drivers will drive the passenger's car home, while the other will follow in a taxi.

"We are offering the easiest solution by sending a cab driver that has been approved by (the Taxi and Limousine Commission) and NYPD to pick up your car and take you home in your car, and basically it's that simple," federation spokesman Fernando Mateo told WCBS 880.

The purpose of the driver trailing the car in a cab is to transport the cabbie driving the passenger's car once the ride is over.

"There are two drivers that go in one car. One driver gets dropped off in the car where the drunk person is at. He is then followed by a taxi to the destination, and then the cab driver that's there will take them back to their base," Mateo explained.

The price is double whatever the normal cab fare would be, he said.

"If your cab ride would cost, let's say, $30, now it's going to cost you $60. If your cab ride would normally cost you $50, now it's going to cost you $100," Mateo said. "But it's certainly a lot less than a $165 parking ticket that you would get in the city."

The pilot program, called "Operation Red Nose," began on Sunday and will run until New Year's Day. It could continue permanently if the program is successful.

Those who wish to participate should call (212) 926-1111 and tell the operator they want to do "Operation Red Nose," Mateo said.

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