Use an app to help get home safely this New Year's Eve


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist SCOTT GUEST

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 7:20 PM

AUSTIN -- When ringing in the New Year with revelry, officials are encouraging Austin residents to plan ahead.
"Get a designated driver before you go to that party. Call a cab or a friend," said state trooper Robbie Barrera.

However, some said it can be difficult to get a cab in Austin, especially during high demand like on New Year's Eve or during other special events.

"The average wait for a taxi is about eight minutes. Last year on New Year's Eve, we were able to get the average request responded to within 11 minutes," said Edward Kargbo, president of Yellow Cab Austin.

While some drivers have protested more permits in the past, Kargbo said he thinks there is a need for more taxis in Austin.

"We're working through the city and process to add more cabs to the fleets for all the citizens year round," said Kargbo.

The city is expected to make an announcement on how many new cabs they'll allow in February.
Kargbo said the easiest way to get a ride is to use the free Hail a Cab app.

"Version 3.0 actually just rolled out this past week, which allows folks to track their taxi on the app after the request," said Kargbo.

Users can also pay for their cab rides through the app.

Other cab companies in Austin use apps. Taxi Magic works for Lone Star Cab and 10/10 Taxi in Round Rock.

Austin police want to remind residents not to drink and drive. New Year's Eve is a no refusal day in Austin.

"We know that people know that it's a dangerous thing to do, to make that choice to drink and drive," said Lieutenant Keith Walker with the Austin police DWI division. "So, the no refusals on the holidays is designed to encourage people to make the right choices."

Another option is Capital Metro. Buses will run New Year's Eve and will be free.

Also, AAA is offering a free ride and ten mile tow for anyone, even non members, but only as a last resort. Find out more information about that program here.

Download the Hail a Cab app here.

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