Expect to Pay More for Your Ride on St. Patrick's Day

March 16, 2018 11:23 PM

More people drink on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day of the year. Not only is it a big drinking holiday, it's also a big drinking and driving holiday.

The Albany County Sheriff’s office said they'll have extra deputies out looking for drunk drivers this weekend.

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A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that from 2012 to 2016 nearly 40 percent of driving fatalities on St. Patrick’s involved drivers that were well above the legal limit, resulting in nearly 270 deaths. While many people are looking forward to ride sharing services being available this year, they do come at a cost.

“It's bigger than New Year's Eve this is like the crème de la crème of all holidays and party weekends, this is it,” Uber driver Tim Wedeman said.

Anyone who's used ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft knows holidays likely mean surge pricing and longer wait times. That's because there are more people looking for rides than there are giving them.

“We want drivers to be incentivized to be on the road providing rides for folks, especially if they've been drinking," Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson said.

Tim Wedeman works as a DJ full time, but began driving for Uber part-time as soon as it was allowed upstate last July. He thinks the higher fares are worth paying.

"Would you rather take an Uber which is going to be average $30-40 or face a DWI which is thousands in fines, embarrassment etc.,” Wedeman said. “It’s a no brainer"

And if getting home on time is your concern, you can schedule a ride.

“With the scheduled rides you'll get a fare estimate when you schedule it in advance and it will notify you if that fare changes for the pick-up time,” Filson said.

Yellow Cab of Albany said they'll have 10 to 20 vehicles on the road on Saturday. They said they should be able to pick you up in 15 to 20 minutes, and their fares are based on zones.

And a word of advice from a busy driver:

“Don't have us wait for you for more than two minutes, time is money, obviously in this business,” Wedeman said.

Also make sure you confirm the ride is in fact yours before getting in the car. You can do that by checking the car model, plate number and driver's name.


Emily Burkhard

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