Free taxi coupons 12-27-06

PHONE: 961-8879
DECEMBER 27, 2006


Hilo drinking establishments plan to distribute coupons for free taxi rides so customers don’t drink and drive, especially on New Year’s Eve.

The Hawaii County Prosecutor’s office has purchased 50 booklets of the coupons, which the Department of Liquor Control will pass out to bars and nightclubs.

Despite the giveaway program, individuals who plan to drink at a bar over the holiday weekend should not count on getting a free coupon. They should make other arrangements in case the bar they plan to visit runs out of coupons.

"Shared ride" taxi coupons are available for purchase all year long at the Mass Transit Agency, 630 E. Lanikaula Street>, >Hilo or at the Downtown Improvement Association, 329 Kamehameha Avenue>, >Hilo.

The coupons are subsidized by the county, allowing the taxi companies to receive full payment for providing cab rides while giving the customer a reduced rate. The most economical package is a booklet of 15 coupons for $30. One coupon is good for four miles of travel and two coupons are good for nine miles of travel, provided the travel is within urban Hilo. Any distance beyond that covered by the coupons must be paid for in cash.

Five taxi companies participate in the program. They are Ace One Taxi, Ali’i Taxi, Bay City Taxi, Marhysa Taxi and Percy’s Taxi.

For more information on purchasing discount taxi coupons, call the Mass Transit Agency at 961-8744.

The free coupon distribution evolved from strategies developed by the Impaired Driving Task Force, a coalition of government agencies, community organizations and victim support groups dedicated to helping reduce injuries and fatalities on Big> >Island highways. For more information about the Impaired Driving Task Force, call Coordinator Jackie Murai at 961-8879.

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