Catch a cab on New Year's Eve
The cruel irony: New Year’s Eve is one of the coldest, drunkest nights of the year, but it’s also the toughest one to catch a cab. A few industry insiders offer their best bets for hitching a ride on the mother of all party nights.
1. Call early, call often. George Lutfallah, a cabdriver since 1992, says to check back with the dispatcher every now and then for an ETA. “Drivers might be on their way to pick you up, but sometimes people just get aggressive and hop into the cab at a red light, and there goes your ride.”
2. Make friends. “Rather than hustle, running around for a cab like a chicken with its head cut off, ask other people who are waiting, ‘Hey, which way are you going, and you mind if we share?,’” Lutfallah says. “Offer to pay their fare so they have more incentive to let you in.”
3. Hire a designated driver. BeMyDD (877-823-6933, bemydd.com), a service that launched in Chicago last month, will send a personal chauffeur—in a shirt and tie, no less—to cart your posse around in your car for $15 per hour, plus gratuity. If you’re already out with your car—when, say, you realize your designated driver’s blind drunk—the service will send two drivers ($25 for pick up, $2.95 per mile for the first ten miles, $1.50 for every mile after that). Call at least two hours in advance.
4. Have a night out on the Town Car. A rep from Chicago Private Car (773-594-9021, chicagoprivatecars.com) insists the sleek executive sedans aren’t above toting your drunken crew from party to party. The Town Cars seat up to four revelers for $55 per hour with a two-hour minimum, plus gratuity. Call at least a day in advance during peak holidays.