Labor Day is almost here, and for many in DFW that means making a run to the liquor store and celebrating that day off work. Between pre-gaming at the house and going to the bars and also all the gray moments in between, there are many opportunities for you to get behind a wheel when you shouldn’t. Ride service Lyft wants to guarantee you don’t. For Labor Day, Lyft will provide $50,000 in free rides across Texas.
These free rides are given in conjunction with Lyft’s new program, Ride Smart TX, a promotion to both draw attention to and prevent drinking and driving incidents. By entering the code RIDESMARTLD into your Lyft app, you will be given one free ride (up to $10 value) that’s valid between noon Aug. 31 and 11:59 p.m. Sept. 3. The $10 discount is applicable to any pickup and drop-off within the Texas border. If you’re taking a Lyft to leave Texas, no discount can help you.
The Ride Smart TX program kicked off by offering discounts this year for Cinco de Mayo, followed by an activation for the Fourth of July, with Labor Day serving as the third. This is the start to a planned continued line of holidays when Lyft will offer the service, both for nationally recognized holidays and more Texas-centric celebrations.
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“We think about big drinking holidays,” says Yohan Bobcombe, market manager for Lyft DFW. “So Halloween would be a big one, definitely things like New Year’s Eve, and there may be some more Texas-specific holidays within that time frame that we have our eyes on. We really want to be able to create a program that speaks to Texans and really provides safe rides and ensure people get home safely around those big events.”
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were more than 5,000 Texas DUI crashes in 2017, resulting in 1,024 deaths. While it’s still too early to measure how the free rides have changed DUI fatality numbers, Lyft estimates that thousands of Texans took advantage of the free rides for both Cinco de Mayo and the Fourth of July.
For now, Lyft is focused on one holiday at a time, but they’re mindful of where the program could grow in the future.
“We definitely would love it to expand into a coalition of partners,” Bobcombe says. “Whether it be the city, whether it be the police, things like that, who really get on board and just make sure this message is something that most Texans are aware about, and on board to get the discount — to get $10 off a ride by using the RIDESMARTLD code. So that’s what we want to be able to do, really, form a coalition of public private partners who could really incentivize people to think about, more smartly, how to get to locations at different major events in Texas.”