Starting Friday night, you’ll be able to get a free taxi ride up to $30 in Bethesda.
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering its 2013 Holiday SoberRide program from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly from Friday to New Year’s Eve.
Participants must be 21 or older and can call 800-200-8294 (TAXI) for a ride. Callers must pay for anything over the subsidized $30 fare.
WRAP’s SoberRide, also used for July 4, St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween, has provided almost 58,000 taxi rides since it started in 1993. You can’t reserve a pick-up in advance.
If you call from Montgomery County, a dispatcher will send a Barwood cab your way.
The county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force discussed the idea of expanding SoberRide or SoberRide-like services to times other than identified high-risk holidays. The Task Force pushed for a year-round program as a way to increase nighttime business activity in Bethesda, which is relatively isolated from other areas with nighttime economies.
The Task Force recommended the county extend the hours of operation for venues with alcohol licenses one hour, to 3 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and the Sundays before Monday federal holidays and 2 a.m. on weeknights.
That would match D.C. and Prince George’s County and prevent what Bethesda bar owner and Task Force member Alan Pohoryles said restaurant owners call “the mad dash,” the period when Montgomery County bar goers get in their cars and drive to D.C. for another hour of alcohol service.