Taxi coupons (correction) 12-08-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Impaired Driving Task Force
Dieter H. Blattler, Coordinator
Phone: 961-2226
December 8, 2009

(Click photo to see larger image here.)
Howard Medeiros from the Prosecutor’s Office (left) and Kalani Mills from the Department of Liquor Control (center) present taxi coupons to Scott Cat, owner of The Emerald bar and eatery. Kwai Cheng Publico [corrected name] (right), owner of the W. A. I Water and Ice Lounge receives the taxi coupons for his establishment

Media Release (correction in second caption)

Drinking establishments in Hilo and Kailua-Kona plan to distribute coupons for free taxi rides so customers don’t drink and drive, especially during the holidays.

The Hawai’i County Office of the Mayor, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the Impaired Driving Task Force, the Police Department, the Department of Liquor Control and the Mass Transit Agency have teamed up to provide 500 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. Lanikāula 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 reasonable payment for providing cab rides while giving the customer a reduced rate. The most economical package is a booklet of 15 coupons for $30. There are booklets with 10 coupons for $20 and 5 coupons for $15. 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 or Kailua-Kona. Any distance beyond what is covered by the coupons must be paid for in cash.

Eight taxi companies participate in the program. They are, in Hilo, Ace One Taxi, Ali’i Taxi, Bay City Taxi, Bobby Taxi, Hot Lava Taxi, Marhysa’s Taxi and Percy’s Taxi and, in Kailua-Kona, J & A Taxi.

For more information about 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.

Please remember, it only takes two to three drinks to exceed the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol content – so don’t take a chance – take a taxi!

For more information about the impaired Driving Task Force, call Coordinator Dieter H. Blattler at 961-2226.

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