Snowy Range Taxi, LLC began offering free rides home in March as part of their Drunk Driving Initiative.  Now, the company is asking for donations to keep their program running.

“Tipsy Taxi” programs in use across Wyoming in places such as Casper provide free rides home in an effort to keep intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel themselves.  The Snowy Range Taxi Drunk Driving Initiative distributes vouchers to local bars, restaurants, and hotels that are good for a free ride home.  The vouchers cannot be used to travel between bars; the only available destinations are home or previously arranged lodging.

As of November, the company has provided 114 free taxi rides valued at a total of over $1,600.  If not offset, the rising costs associated with the Drunk Driving Initiative could limit the program’s availability, or force it to disappear altogether.

“The programs in other states have basically been funded through partnerships with the bars and other businesses and organizations in town,” says Snowy Range Taxi Co-owner Matthew Peck.  “Ours has been self-funded up to this point.  It’s starting to become a little bit of a financial strain, so we’re starting to try to reach out and get the community a little more involved.”

Peck says that Snowy Range Taxi still pays drivers a commission on the free rides.  His company also has to cover costs associated with fuel, maintenance, insurance, and voucher printing.  With additional funding and resources, Peck says that his company hopes to augment the current program in order to further abate drunk driving in Laramie.

“We’ve seen the success of UW’s SafeRide, but unfortunately SafeRide only runs eighteen hours a week on the weekends,” says Peck.  “We run this program in conjunction with our normal taxi service, so we’re available one hundred and five hours a week.  So, the potential for this… the sky’s the limit.”

Peck says that by expanding the program, his company could on a weekly basis select a random establishment from which to provide rides home, completely free of charge.  However, Peck says that the reaction of local business owners so far has been the disappointing part of his company’s Drunk Driving Initiative.

“The moral support and vocal support has been there,” says Peck.  “But it’s been real tough to engage people financially.”

Snowy Range Taxi is accepting donations to keep their Drunk Driving Initiative going.  For information on how to donate, call Matthew or Chantelle at 343-2323.

“Even five bucks allows us to get another person home safe,” says Peck.