Free cab rides hard to find this New Year's Eve

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - New Year's Eve is Tuesday. Do you have a plan in place to get home safely if you have a few too many alcoholic drinks?

We decided to look into any companies offering free car rides home, but to our surprise we couldn't find any in the Kansas City Metro.

A few years ago, a handful of companies including Yellow Cab, ScooterGuy, AAA and the Kansas City Strip Trolley offered free rides home on New Year's Eve.

Now those companies say demand is too high and people seem to be more responsible, making free cabs less necessary.

Yellow Cab says between 12:05 a.m. and 4 a.m., they are slammed with calls. It used to be primarily a night gig.

But now, they're seeing another rush between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., as people grab rides to their destinations.

That's good considering it's by far the busiest day of the year for DUI citations.

Overland Park, Olathe, Lawrence and Kansas City have large scale DUI patrols planned for Tuesday night.

Of course when you compare the cost of a cab or the decision to have a designated driver with the cost of a DUI, the decision is simple.

"When you come right down to it, money can be replaced. You can work on your reputation, but if you hurt someone or hurt yourself you will live with that for the rest of your life. So my advice is wait, take the cab, be patient and get home safe," said Terry O'Toole, general manager of Kansas City Transportation Group, which runs Yellow Cab, KC Shuttle and Carey Kansas City.

Inside every taxi they have a GPS tracker so they know exactly where every cab is in the city.

When you need a ride, they use the system to find the closest available driver.

Yellow Cab and 10/10 Taxi plan to have more than 400cabs on the street Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Their best advice? If you're willing to jump in a cab at 11:55 p.m. and skip out on the last few minutes of the party, you won't have any wait.

Stay just five minutes later, and expect to test your patience as you wait for the drivers to get to you. That could take upwards to an hour if you're at a bar or two hours if you're in a residential location.

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