Tips for having a safe New Years Eve
Waving one hand in the air while yelling “Taxi!” may be how it’s done in the movies, but come New Years Eve, you may want to be a little more prepared for how you’re going to find that sober driver, given the crowds of partiers for them to choose from.
With over 30 taxi services in the Augusta area, finding a cab shouldn’t be a hard task, and with the taxi business being on the slower side these days, there sometimes seems to be more drivers than riders.
“It used to be pretty good in the old days — it’s still steady, but it’s not like it used to be,” said Billy Fields, a night dispatcher for Yellow Cab of Augusta.
Planning ahead of time is your best option for making sure you make it home safely after the ball drops. It doesn’t have to be difficult — it can be as simple as picking up the phone a few hours before you take that first sip, or even put a foot inside the bar. Most services are open 24/7, leaving no excuses for why you weren’t prepared.
Pick up the phone or go online and make a reservation. This can be done anywhere, at anytime, especially in today’s society where a cell phone is always in hand. Some services also allow you to reserve online by filling out a form. Making a reservation will not only save time, but also steers you clear of any possible drunken fights over whose slurred speech called the driver over first.
Next be sure to keep in mind how many of your friends will be claiming a seat — any surprise riders could add some extra cost, depending on cab companies.
American Taxi of Augusta, for example, has a flat rate for up to four passengers. If you end up with an extra straggler — or the lying friend who said he would only have one drink so he could drive everyone home — it’s going to cost an additional $2 per passenger.
Most services will be charging you a flat rate, usually around $2.65, with additional charge per mile travelled. If planning to travel outside of Richmond County, expect another additional charge of $2.
Don’t keep your driver waiting. If you make a reservation for a certain time, make you sure you are punctual. Wait time for taxis can quickly raise your fee. Every hour you leave your driver hanging can add anywhere up to $21 in the Augusta area.
Pay attention to the meter; it can be a serious issue if you happen to come across a driver who thinks he can get away with overcharging you. On a night such as New Years, when odds are your critical thinking might be impaired, you may want a designated “more-sober-than-the-others” friend to keep an eye on the meter.
“Some people are out partying having a good time and don’t realize,” said Fields. “If they don’t use their meter, you don’t have to pay the fare.”
Although it is advised to still provide payment, you do have the option not to pay, but be sure to notify Richmond County deputies concerning the matter.
It’s also advisable to hold your liquor — at least until you make it home. Nobody likes a mess, and that includes cab drivers. Most drivers own their taxis, and probably won’t hesitate to add on a cleanup charge — which can be up to $50 — to your already rising fee.
Although Masters Week is the busiest season for Augusta’s taxi men and women, New Years still holds promise to a good paying night.
“All of our drivers will be out on full force for New Years,” said a spokesperson for Speedy Cab of Augusta.
By the time you make it home, your fee probably rose pretty quickly, but don’t forget to leave a tip; they deserve a little extra for dealing with you and your slurry friends. You Might Also Like: