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Program Allowing Cabbies To Drive Revelers’ Cars Deemed Success

A taxi is viewed on September 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A taxi is viewed on September 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers has declared success for a program that allows cabbies to drive people home in their own cars when they’ve had one drink too many.

The program, named Operation Red Nose, has resulted 921 trips in six days, the federation said. Most drivers welcomed the idea of getting a livery driver to drive their cars, rather than having to leave their own vehicles behind, the federation said.

The federation said further that most of the people who used the service said they would have driven drunk if the service were not available.

“We believe that most problems have a solution when given an option. People seem to understand that drinking and driving can be prevented, especially when you can give them a cheap option not to drive,” said federation spokesman Fernando Mateo. “Our drivers are licensed by (Taxi and Limousine Commission), drug tested, honest and responsible. Most drunk drivers have been respectful and have paid without an incident. We believe that there have been less accidents this season because of Operation Red Nose.”

Under the program, two taxi drivers will pick passengers up after a night of drinking. One of the drivers will drive the passenger’s car home, while the other will follow in a taxi.

The purpose of the driver trailing the car in a cab is to transport the cabbie driving the passenger’s car once the ride is over.

The price is double whatever the normal cab fare would be, Mateo explained last weekend.

The program was set to run until New Year’s Day, but the federation said it could continue permanently if the program is successful.

Those who wish to participate should call (212) 926-1111 and tell the operator they want to do “Operation Red Nose,” Mateo said last weekend.

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